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ANMM Collection

Letter from Oskar Speck to the Editor in Chief

Date: 24 December 1938
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Object Copyright: © Australian National Maritime Museum
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0536[028]

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    Description
    Letter from Oskar Speck to the Editor in Chief typed in German, dated 24 December 1938. The letter is to request the newspaper to publish Oskar’s protest at the defamatory article printed in a Dutch East Indies newspaper, and refute this article. He mentions he has contacted the resident ambassadors to Ambon and Timor regarding this matter.
    Translation
    • Oskar Speck Manokwari Currently: Manokwari 24 December 1938 Dear Sir [Editor in Chief], It was only when I arrived in my collapsible boat in Manokwari on 22 December that I first heard about the article which the Dutch Indies newspapers had published defaming me. You published the article, taken rom the Bat.-Nbld.[title of a Dutch language paper], in your overseas edition of 8 November, 1938. Needless to say, the article is totally divorced rom the truth. I find it particularly indecent of you to attack a sportsman and GUEST in such a most despicable way. I have been on Dutch territory for nearly two years now and have always behaved well and portrayed my host country in an absolutely correct manner. [For example,] I wrote an article about my journey through the Dutch Indies which was published in quite a large newspaper in Berlin one month before my passage on the "Real", to which I referred. It would have been wiser for the Bat.-Nbld. to have found out more about the person who sent the article before it published it. You cannot allow such an individual, whose lies I have exposed, to arrange for more lies [about me] to be published in the Dutch Indies newspapers. He is trying to destroy what many decent Dutch people have built up. Today, I named the author of that defamatory article in a letter to the Resident Ambassadors to Ambon and Timor, whom I know personally. I also provided unambiguous evidence of his bad reputation and motives and asked for his punishment. I also hope you see fit to send a request demanding my vindication to the Dutch Indies newspapers. I will be leaving Dutch territory in the next 6-8 weeks and would regret it very much if, in spite of all my efforts to clariy this matter, the Dutch Indies authorities and newspapers were unable to sort it all out, thereby resulting in the continued defamation of myself and my country. As an initial measure I respectfully request that you publish my protest with respect to the article in your newspaper and thank you in advance 24.12.38 Page 16 of 32for this. Yours faithfully Oskar Speck P.S. I respectfully ask you to send me, at my expense (COD), two copies of the newspaper in which you publish my protest to: Hollandia, poste restante
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