Occasional Visit to Ereveld Menteng Pulo

The Ereveld Menteng Pulo at Jakarta


“Ik had getekend voor de Expeditionaire Macht, en je tekende dan voor onbepaalde tijd, waar ook ter wereld. Ik kwam bij de Zeven December Divisie op 2 januari 1946. We zouden worden opgeleid voor de oorlog tegen Japan maar toen die capituleerde werd onze bestemming Indië…”

“I had signed up for the “Expeditionairy Forces” which meant that I would be serving
for a unknown period wherever in the world I would be required. I was enlisted in the Seventh December Division on the 2nd of January 1946. We would receive training for the war against Japan but when they surrendered our destination was changed to the Dutch Indies…”

(The Diary of Chris Fillet, Ordinary guy from Amsterdam who volunteers for the 7 December Division)


ON MISSION

“Is it in Indonesia, Jakarta? Really?”, I asked my friend Hatmanto that sent picture of the cemetery. That cemetery picture has generated my curiosity because it was sited in Jakarta. Amazed me! Never seen before, there is an European cemetery. Well orgnized.

From this point, I have made a contact to Oorlogsgravenstichting Indonesie – OGS (The Netherlands War Graves Foundation) and sent a letter of propos our occasional visit to this Ereveld. In this letter I explain that we are a voluntary group of young people that concern about history in Jakarta. Every weekend, we always take a journey in historical sites of Jakarta and its surroundings. Our simply objective is for the diffusion of historic knowledge to our next generation, especially relationship between The Netherlands and Indonesia.

Finally, our propos to visit this cemetery has been fulfilled by an authorization from OGS. The occasional visit was proudly accessible on Saturday May 13th 2006.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I am especially indebted to the OGS that gave an authorization and allow us in occasional visit. Our journey would never have been commenced without the kindly help of Mrs. Ita -the staff of OGS, Meneer Steenmeijer -the director of OGS, as well Pak Agus Setiawan and Pak Peter Raffer as officer in Ereveld Menteng Pulo. Thanks for this opportunity to learn and observe that heritage cemetery.

Last but not least, to all my friends in journey: Windy + Little Kaka, Mayahadi, Mayasari, Rahmat, Vini, Luluk, Niken, Nana, and Hatmanto who translated the catalogue of Ereveld Menteng Pulo from Dutch in to Indonesian.

THE CEMETERY: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

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Ereveld Menteng Pulo is Dutch Cemetery consists of victims during Second World War in the Japanese occupation in Netherlands Indies and revolutionary period of 1945 – 1949. It was established since 1947 by Lieutenant General Spoor, A Commander of Royal Dutch Army. He was died in 25 May 1949, and buried in this cemetery as well.

While inaugurated on 8 December 1947, Lieutenant General Spoor took a concern about the diversity of the victims. He said that here laid the victims whose got white skin, brown skin, men, women, and children. They were from Northern and Southern Holland, and also victims of tan skin who lived in this archipelago. They laid together regardless racialism issues, religion, and medal honor.

ORIGIN OF THE “CORPUS”

The victims were originally buried in 22 war cemeteries throughout the archipelago. These cemeteries were established between 1945 and 1950 by the grave registration unit of Royal Netherlands Indies Army (KNIL). After the independence of sovereignty, the mortal remains be concentrated on the seven war cemeteries in Java: Ereveld Menteng Pulo (Jakarta), Ereveld Ancol (Jakarta), Ereveld Pandu (Bandung), Ereveld Leuwigajah (Cimahi), Ereveld Kalibanteng (Semarang), Ereveld Candi (Semarang), and Ereveld Kembang Kuning (Surabaya).

The victims were from Banjarmasin (1961), Tarakan (1964), Manado (1965), Palembang (1967), Balikpapan (1967), Makassar (1968), and Cililitan (1968). Presently, more than 4.000 corps were buried in this cemetery.

SIMULTAANKERK

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The Simultaantkerk, Ereveld Menteng Pulo

Simultaankerk is the landmark of Ereveld Menteng Pulo. It was built quickly consists of brick and white bolster cement in 1950. The enchanted tower of 22 meters height has garnished this church.

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In front of the Simultaankerk we found the vintage bell that has inscription:

“DE DANK VAN HET VOLK TEN VROMEN TOLK, TAMP IK BOVEN DE GRAVEN VAN DIE HUN TROUW AAN HET ROOD-WIT-BLAUW, IN STOF EN AS HIER STAVEN”

We could interpret:
“Many grateful thanks to obedient country, I depend on the top of rope above their grave whom has loyality to red-white-blue, in their dust and corps as well”.

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Stunning Stainedglass Inside the Simultaankerk

THE COLUMBARIUM

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Next to the Simultaankerk, there is two sided veranda buffered by stone pillars. It is Columbarium, consists of 754 urns of Dutch prisoner war from Japan. In front of the pillars was garnished by medallion. It was represented the symbols. There are symbol of four religions (Moslem, Christian, Jewish, and Taoism) and symbol of the whole life (life, death, time, reincarnate, and eternity).

There is a beautiful calm pool with a fountain and lotus that surrounded by charming architecture. In the corner of Columbarium, there is small tower and dome like a pear. There is unidentified urn beneath the tower.

THE MONUMENTS

The monuments are Monument of 7 December Division, Monument of Prisoner from Glodok, Monument of Netherlands East Indies Air Force, and Navy.

Also, inside the Simultaankerk, The Burma Monument for memorial of the victims during development of railway in Burma. This monument made from wooden cushion of railway.

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The Royal Air Force Monument

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In Respectful Memory for Suffering Children in Japanese Occupation

* * *

THE MONUMENT OF 7 DECEMBER DIVISION
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The 7 December Division Monument
“Onze eenheid is bevestigd. Door ons gezamenlijk lijden”
(Our unit is confirmed, Through our collective suffering)
PhotobucketThe 7 December Division Monument
After Re-burial Ceremony on 16th of September 1949

The “7 December Division” Monument is sited on Ereveld Menteng Puloin the backyard of Simultaantkerk. In front of the monuments laid the victims of 7 December Division 1946 – 1949 and their tombs were marked by “7DD”.

The 7 December Division

Graveyard for 7DD


War Cemetery for Comrades of 7 December Division 1946-49
Their tomb were marked by “7DD”
THE MISSION OF “7 DECEMBER DIVISION”
The First Division “7 December” was sent to the East Indies in 1946. Their mission was restored “the peace, order and security”. According Royal Dutch, they were planning to Dutch Indies along a gradual path to greater independence, but the declaration of the independent Republic of Indonesia two days after the Japanese capitulation accelerated these events.

Originally, “7 December” was named after Queen Wilhelmina’s speech in London on 7th of December 1942:

“I am for, while not on the opinions of the conference that will focus on a government level, which the Netherlands, Indonesia, Suriname and Curacao will share together, while they each in themselves, their own autonomy in internal matters and drawing on its own merits, but would work with each other to stand, will represent.
It will be a difference of treatment based on race or national character is not place, but will have only the personal skills of citizens and the needs of different population groups be crucial for the policy of the Government. “


It could be the statement was influenced about the political background in that period. This was the mandate, which the conscripts of 7 December Division to the Dutch Indies were sent. They were held for the purpose, “the granting of independence to the colonies and eliminating racial discrimination so that all citizens were equal in the great Kingdom of the Netherlands. As the people of very different people would want to self and not a big communist state as Soekarno for had eyes”.


THE EMBLEM
“7 DECEMBER DIVISION”


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The emblem of the “7 December Division” the letters “EM” refers to “Expeditionaire Macht” (Expeditionary Force). This “EM” abbreviation became symbolic of the concept of “Elke Man, Elk Moment” (Every Man, Every Time). The “EM” was separated by the sword from the arms of Batavia (standing upright sword with laurel wreath).

During the Second World War, the emblem of the first division was designed for the future expeditionary force to the fight against Japan. However, after the capitulation of Japan in August 15, 1945 emblem was unnecessary. The emblem was re-introduced by army order in 1946 (for binding) by the future commander of the First Division, Colonel HJJW Durst Britt.


THE TROOPERS
“7 DECEMBER DIVISION”

The 7 December Division in India consisted of 18,544 persons of which 880 officers, 1,300 under-officers and 16,364 under-corporal and soldiers. The first commander of “7 December Division” was Major General H.J.J.W. Dürst Britt (1st of September 1946 – 2nd September 1949). Then, the second commander was Major General E.Engles (2nd September 1949 – 25th of April 1950).

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Major General H.J.J.W. Dürst Britt
PhotobucketMajor General E.Engles
On 1st of September 1946 left to India. The rest followed shortly thereafter. At the end of 1949 turned the first troop ship with members of “7 December Division” back in to the Netherlands. The full return of the division was completed in early 1950.

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On Board: Troopers of 7 December Division
Source: http://www.7decemberdivisie.nlPhotobucketA convoy of 7 December Division,
withdraw from the town Tjikarang towards Krawang.
Source: Lergermuseum
THE MILITARY RESOURCES
“7 DECEMBER DIVISION”

The military resources of “7 December Division” is following below (based on “Wij Werden Geroepen” by Alfred van Sprang and published in 1949, http://www.7decemberdivisie.nl):


THE COMPOSITION

Division Staff:
1 Division liaison department
1 Battalion AAT (4 comp)
1 Battalion Pioneers
1, 2 and 3 Inf. Brigade Workshop
1 Regiment Light luchtdoelart.
1 Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment
2 Field Artillery Regiment
6 Field Artillery Regiment
8 Field Artillery Regiment
1 Reconnaissance Regiment
1 machine-gun Battalion

Staff 1 Infantry Brigade Group:
3 Garde Grenadiers Regiment
3 Garde Regiment Jagers
3 Guard Regiment Prinses Irene

Staff 2 Infantry Brigade Group:
3-1 Infantry Regiment
3-9 Infantry Regiment
3-12 Infantry Regiment

Staff 3 Infantry Brigade Group
3-2 Infantry Regiment
3-14 Infantry Regiment
3 Shock Troops Regiment

1, 2 and 3 Help Link City Department
1 Field Hospital
Hygiene Group
Dental Company
Arva Division 1
1 and 2 Royal Military Police Company
Division 1 Park Equipment
1 Division of Field Post Section

Security battalions:
3-3 Infantry Regiment (distributed)
3-5 Infantry Regiment (distributed)
3-7 Infantry Regiment (distributed)
3-8 Infantry Regiment (West Java)
3-10 Infantry Regiment (West Java)
3-11 Infantry Regiment (distributed)

Other components, which long-term in West Java:
4-3 Infantry Regiment
4-8 Infantry Regiment
4-10 Infantry Regiment
5-7 Infantry Regiment
Infantry I KNIL
Infantry II KNIL
Fighting vehicles I KNIL

Under temporary command in West Java:
1-11 Infantry Regiment
1-4 Infantry Regiment
2-13 Infantry Regiment
4-11 Infantry Regiment
5-1 Infantry Regiment

Relief in the area, the F-Brigade, consisting of:
401 Infantry Battalion
412 Infantry Battalion
413 Infantry Battalion
41 Field Artillery Regiment

THE ARMAMENT

Light machine guns 1197
Heavy machine guns 36
Piat 421
Twin machine guns 1
2 “mortars 283
3 “mortars 60
4.2 “mortars 16
PAG (62)
9 field guns (72)
Cannons at 8. (24)
Cannons at 8 on motoraffuiten (24)
Cannons 2 tl. – 20 mm (42)
Cannon 4 tl. – 40 mm (54)

THE TRANSPORT

Bicycles (335)
Engines (995)
Cars (90)
Jeeps (380)
Trucks (2043)
Trailers (477)
Carriers (547)
Tractors (175)
Light reconnaissance vehicles (32)
Panzers/metal vehicles – pantservoeruigen (32)
Motoraffuiten (24)
Ambulance Vehicles (48)


***PhotobucketMajor General E.Engles speech on the Ceremony 16th of September 1949.
Source: Lergermuseum
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The military funeral ceremony on 16th September 1949 – Ereveld Menteng Pulo.
From left to right the representative of the Navy Commander in the East: Capt. H.J.G. v. Giesen, the Governor of Batavia: R.A.A. Hilman Djajadiningrat, the C-Division Commander: Major General E. English, the Army Commander: General DC Lieutenant Buurman, and the delegate of the HVK for Pasoendan: Mr Dr. R.W. of Diffelen.


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On 16th of September 1949, the men of the “7 December Division” and Vrouwenhulpkorps (Women’s Auxiliary Corps)farewell to their 500 fallen comrades deceased and buried at the Ereveld Menteng Pulo, Djakarta.
Source: KITLV and Lergermuseum

THE NEXT ODYSSEY FROM EREVELD TO EREVELD

Mr. P. Steenmeijer, director of Orloogsgravenstichting Indonesie (OGS), gave an authorization regarding our plan to visit this cemetery. He is so amazed to us, because our concerning about history of relationship between Indonesia and The Netherlands. He wants to meet and tell us about history of Ereveld Menteng Pulo and Ereveld Ancol in Dutch perspective when he arrived in Indonesia another ends of June 2006 (any participants?)***REFERENCES
Het Vergeten Leger: Nederlandsch Indië 1945-1950
[www.hetdepot.com]

Chris Fillet Dagboek, Zeven December Divisie: Nederlands – Indië 1946-1950 [www.zevendecemberdivisie.nl]
Ereveld Menteng Pulo, leaflet, Oorlogsgravenstichting Indonesie
7 December Divisie, Wij werden geroepen: Nederlands-Indië 1946-1950, [www.7decemberdivisie.nl]

“Ereveld Menteng Pulo”
Leaflet, OGS
“Dutch War Cemeteries in Indonesia”
Leaflet, OGS

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6 comments

  1. pindah ke sini juga toh 😉

  2. Gw sempa nelonong masuk n motret2 di sono. Petugasnya ketat, tapi sempat gw akalin. 😉

    Anyway, yg di Thailand bebas masuk, ga ada penjagaan. Lokasinya sih di luar Bangkok. Tepatnya di Kanchanaphuri.

    1. Iya Mas Marto memang penjagaan ketat, betapa negara sangat menghargai mereka yang dimakamkan di sini.

      Permakaman perang di Thailand pengelolanya bukan OGS.

      1. Yayasan yg mengelola makam tsb di seluruh dunia sama. Sprtinya saya sempat searc dikit ttg yayasan tsb, n kumpulin katalognya.

  3. Angela Bokslag · · Reply

    Kira-kira masih ada dokumentasi foto , videonatau sejarah anggota KNIL ini ga ya? I want to find my Grandpa’s History.

    1. Mungkin bisa dicari di Arsip Nasional Den Haag, gw pernah ke sana, ada ribuan file ttg Indonesia (KNIL). Atau coba ke KITLV di Erasmus Huis,Jkt.

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