1965-66 Indonesian Massacres

This collection introduces recounts by local Indonesians–both victims and perpetrators–of massacres in the aftermath the Sept 30 Incident. Their experiences provide a localised view of on-the-ground forces that coalesced to shape a traumatic period in Indonesian history.


These transcripts were interviewed by Robert Moisa

Interview With Pak Yatman

Pak Yatman recalls life during the 1965 Massacres in Indonesia, including his own imprisonment; explaining how social, economic, cultural and religious forces intersected to create a dangerous climate for all civilians suspected of being involved in the communist movement.

Interview With Agung Alit

Agung Alit discusses the ruptures created in his family by the 1965 Massacres in Indonesia, how those tensions continue to strain his relationships as different groups within his extended family hold opposing views of his father’s role as a PKI sympathizer, and the after-effects of the public and personal memory narratives on contemporary Indonesia.

Interview With Syamsul

Syamsul discusses his experiences as a member of Ansor and BANSER during the 1965 Massacres in Indonesia.

Interview With Sarjoti

Sarjoti recounts his experiences as a BANSER combatant, and how he killed the most pro-PKI or anti-Islamic enemies during the 1965 Massacres in Indonesia.

Interview With Kasai

Kasadi discusses his experience as a new member of Pemuda Rakyat, and how he went on the run twice after the collapse of the PKI during the Indonesian Massacres of 1965.

Interview With Pak Talam

Pak Talam discusses his early life as a farmer, how he was drawn into the mass arrests of suspected Communists through his workplace despite not being involved with the Communist Party, and his experiences in prison.

Interview With Mr M

Mr M recalls life growing up under the New Order Regime, as well as his father’s participation in the killing of suspected communists during the 1965 Massacres.

Interview With Sudi Subidi

Sudi Subidi discusses the events of the 1965 Massacres in Indonesia through his own experience as a leader in Ansor’s performing Arts group Lesbumi, focusing on the competition for popular support between the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) and Nahadatul Ulama (NU).

Interview With Salijo and Satwi

Husband and wife Salijo and Satwi, both ex-members of the People’s Youth under the PKI, speak about how existing tensions regarding rice cultivation in their village culminated in social warfare during the Indonesian Massacres of 1965.

Interview With Bati

Bati discusses his experience as a member of ANSOR during the Indonesian Massacres of 1965, and the political situation of his community until 1968.

Interview With Putu Setia

Putu Set discusses his life during the 1965-66 Massacres in Indonesia, as well as his later life as an intellectual leader in the Hindu community during Suharto’s regime, and his experiences as a Hindu Priest during his retirement.

Interview With Oka

Oka briefly discusses his early life and childhood in Bali, before recounting his experiences of the 1965-66 Massacres in Bali.

Interview With Simali and Sajah

Husband and wife Simali and Sajah, speak about how their family lived through the Indonesian Massacres of 1965 and its aftereffects, while Simali experienced being purged three times during the 1960s.

Interview With Sakini

Sakini discusses his experience as a gravedigger during the 1965-66 massacres in Indonesia, and talks about the community’s encounters with supernatural forces after the killings.