Esther Zwinkels (MA) is a researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Military History (NIMH). She holds a master’s degree in History (cum laude) from Leiden University, the Netherlands. Her master’s thesis on the anti-Japanese resistance on Sumatra during the Second World War was awarded the Fruinprijs in 2009 and the Erik Hazelhoff Aanmoedigingsprijs in 2010. From 2014 to 2016, Zwinkels was a lecturer and coordinator with the Cosmopolis programme at Leiden University’s department of Colonial & Global History.
Esther’s specialises in the 20th century (post)colonial history in Asia, focusing on Indonesia in particular. Her interest goes out to the use of the law in situations of war, conflict and transition, in which themes such as rewarding and punishment, and resistance and collaboration are a main focus. Her published works include: ‘Puppets, profiteers and traitors. Defining wartime collaboration in the Netherlands Indies, 1945-1949’, ‘Containing “potentially subversive” subjects: The Internment of Supporters of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands Indies, 1940–1946’and Het Overakker-complot. Indisch verzet tegen de Japanse bezetter op Sumatra 1942-1945 .
Esther is currently finalising her doctoral thesis on Dutch prosecution policy with regard to collaborators and Japanese war criminals for acts that took place during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia.