More money needed to maintain Dutch war graves in Asia

There is not enough money to maintain tens of thousands of Dutch war graves in Indonesia, Thailand, Burma and Korea, the foundation responsible for their upkeep warns in Friday’s AD.

In particular, rising wage costs need to be tackled, the foundation’s head of maintenance Roel Broer told the AD. In Indonesia alone 120 men are employed to look after 24,000 graves, on local level salaries, Broer told the paper.

The foundation receives €2.5m a year from the government and raises a further €200,000 from donations. ‘We need to find a solution within three years otherwise things will go wrong,’ he said. ‘The increase in costs means we cannot afford to maintain all the graves.’

The upkeep of war graves is a government task and set down in law. Broer told the AD it is still too soon to clear the graves and replace them with a single monument.

‘There are still people alive who lived through this period,’ said Broer. ‘But it is also important to their children and others to be able to visit a grave.’

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