Plague-affected areas in Java, 1911-1915 and 1936


The plague pandemic of 1911-1915 led the colonial authorities to undertake drastic measures in the interests of public health, including the destruction of houses and the assaying of corpses of suspected victims. Although these measures were taken in the interests of the people, they were widely resented as interference.

Further reading

Abeyasekere, Susan, ‘Health as a nationalist issue in colonial Indonesia’, in David P. Chandler and M.C. Ricklefs, eds., Nineteenth and twentieth century Indonesia: essays in honour of Professor J.D. Legge. Clayton, Vic.: Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University, 1986, pp. 1-14.

Hull, Terence H., ‘Conflict and collaboration in public health: the Rockefeller Foundation and the Dutch colonial government in Indonesia’, in, Milton J. Lewis and, Kerrie L. MacPherson, eds. Public health in Asia and the Pacific: historical and comparative perspectives. London; New York: Routledge, 2008, pp. 139-152.

Hull, Terence, ‘Plague in Java', in N.G. Owen, ed., Death and Disease in Southeast Asia, Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1987, pp. 210-34.

Map number from Cribb, Historical Atlas of Indonesia (2000)


Year span

1911 - 1936