The Policy of the Thai Government Regarding the Dutch Prisoners of War in Thailand after the End of the Second Word War


  • Thep Boontanondha Faculty of Liberal Arts, Mahidol University


Prisoner of War; Second World War; Dutch; Thailand


Background and objective[S]: After the Second World War, the Thai government had to take care of and assist the prisoners of war who were allied soldiers, including the Dutch who had been forced to perform labor during the Second World War. This policy was part of the efforts of the Thai government that wanted the Netherlands, one of the allied nations, to agree to reconcile with Thailand. Therefore, this research aims to study the policy of the Thai government regarding Dutch prisoners of war between 1945 and 1947.
Methodology: The study employed a historical approach to analyze documentary data and generate a descriptive analytical report. The research underscores the importance of leveraging primary evidence obtained from the National Archives of Thailand.

Main result: Thailand, after the end of the Second World War, had many Dutch prisoners of war. These prisoners had been forced by the Japanese Army to be laborers during the war and were left sporadic around the country after the end of the fighting. The Thai government, bearing an uncertain status at that time, had adopted diplomatic policies to show its desire to help the Allies. These included the treatment of the prisoners of war who had been hidden during the war and the welcoming of Dutch refugees who fled the civil war in Indonesia. However, during the period of waiting before being repatriated to their motherland, there had been skirmishes between the Dutch prisoners of war and the Thai people because of the attitude of the Dutch who believed that they were the winner and the Thai government and its people were the loser. The Dutch, therefore, had a behavior akin to a colonist governing its colony rather than treating the Thai government as an independent country. The Thai government appeared patient  and compromising with these problems and tried to please the Dutch government because the rapprochement between Thailand and the Netherlands relied on the Thai government’s policy towards the Dutch prisoners of war.
Relevance to Thai Studies: This study provides a framework for the study of the history of Dutch prisoners of war in Thailand during the post-World War II period.
Conclusion: After the end of the Second World War, the Thai government sought to re-establish its relationship with the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the issue of the Dutch prisoners of war living in Thailand was a significant matter. Therefore, the Thai government
prioritized these prisoners of war, insisting that they live comfortably before being repatriated to their fatherland.


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NA. BK.2.11/1 Kan khuapkhum chao angkrit amerikan lae chao holanda [Detaining British, American and Dutch people] (17th December 1941).

NA. BK.2.11/8 Kongsun sawit pai yiam khaikakkan chon tangdao [The Swiss Consul visits a concentration camp] (19th February – 23rd October 1942).

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NA. BK.3.8/48 Khadi kiaokap kan laksap lae khwamsiahai thang sap [Cases about larceny and the loss of assets] (28th February 1946 – 28th January 1947).

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How to Cite

Boontanondha, T. (2024). The Policy of the Thai Government Regarding the Dutch Prisoners of War in Thailand after the End of the Second Word War. Journal of Thai Studies, 20(1), 1–33. Retrieved from



Research article