Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto's Coup D'Etat in Indonesia

TitlePretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto's Coup D'Etat in Indonesia
Publication TypeBook
AuthorsRoosa, J
PublisherUniversity of Wisconsin Press
0299220346, 9780299220303, 9780299220334, 0299220303, 9780299220341, 0299220338
1965, General, History, Indonesia – History – Coup d'état, Indonesia – Politics and government – 1950-1966, Partai Komunis Indonesia

In the early morning hours of October 1, 1965, a group calling itself the September 30th Movement kidnapped and executed six generals of the Indonesian army, including its highest commander. The group claimed that it was attempting to preempt a coup, but it was quickly defeated as the senior surviving general, Suharto, drove the movement's partisans out of Jakarta. Suharto blamed the Communist Party of Indonesia for masterminding the movement and used the emergency as a pretext for gradually eroding President Sukarno's powers and installing himself as a ruler. Imprisoning and killing hundreds of thousands of alleged communists, Suharto turned the events of October 1, 1965 into the central event of modern Indonesian history. Despite its importance as a trigger for one of the twentieth century's worst cases of mass violence, the September 30th Movement has remained shrouded in mystery. Who actually masterminded it? What did they hope to achieve? Why did they fail so miserably? What was the movement's connection to international Cold War politics? Pretext for Mass Murder draws on a wealth of new primary source material to suggest a solution to the enabling myth of Suharto's repressive regime. The book is a remarkable feat of historical investigation.