A few days ago I received a document from my eldest sister, who currently is 91 years old and living in the Netherlands. This document with her permission I publish below here. However it might be useful to have some references about the subject matter to try to give you a few introductory impressions.
On 8 December 1941 the Netherlands declared war to Japan, upon which General Terauchi began to attack to Borneo; on 17 december the Japanese troops landed at Miri, an oil production center northern Sarawak.
My Father’s Thoughts and Activities during the Occupation by Dai Nippon.
Emilia A. Pangalila-Ratulangi PhD. Md., Amsterdam University
1937 There was fear because of what happened in Nanking, the barbarous acts committed by the Japanese army, were talked about by the whole family. Still in the following years I realized my father received typical, funny, Japanese stationery that whirled down on my writing desk amid my schoolwork.
May 1941, coming home from school I learned my Dad was taken in custody by the police together with his close comrades Mohamed Husni Thamrin and Raden Mas Soetardjo Karto Hadi Koesoemo, because of their alleged contacts with the Nipponese embassy. The following days the Indonesian students at school did not dare to be close to me. The children of Soetardjo and Deetje Thamrin must have experienced the same. Thamrin, Soetardjo and my father were kept at the same police station and had to sleep on the floor for three days before they were set free. There was no proof of any espionage . My Dutch classmates, did not shy away from me. They said , “As long as there is no proof we do not believe your father is a spy!” Thamrin contracted tropical malaria during the nights at the police station and afterwards he died by this disease. Thamrin’s death was a big loss for Indonesian nationalists.
After my father was set free, one of his co-workers Albert Waworoentoe told us that he knew who had made my father suspected of spying. He mentioned the name of another Minahassian who worked with my father for an organization. My father forbade us too mention this name to anybody because ,“this man has children and they will have to carry the burden later on”. Those words must have impressed all of us. 73 yrs afterwards I heard a cousin using, in a similar situation, exactly the same words.
When the Japanese were going to disembark on Java, Soetardjo and my father arranged bungalows for their own families at Tjimelati, a hamlet on the slopes of the Salak mountain. My father and Soetardjo stayed at Batavia. Meanwhile Governor General Starkenborch Stachouwer was struggling to accomplish his duty. Guarding the interests of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, trying to reconcile the directions of the Government at London, with the possibilities in the Netherland Indies. He had moved the seat of the government to Bandung. The Allied Forces of Montgomery had their seat at Grand Hotel Lembang near Bandung. After the battle of the Java Sea was lost by Admiral Karel Doorman, the coast of Java was open for Nippon. Van Starkenborch decided to assign the total command of the KNIL army to General ter Poorten. When at last he faced the Nipponese army at Kalijati he felt not entitled to capitulate the Sovereign Government of the Netherland Indies. The Royal army of the Netherland Indies ( KNIL) capitulated in person by General ter Poorten.
Nippon had still a young emperor Tenno Heika who was involved in the expansion of the Nipponese the future prosperity and order sphere for East Asia. Nippon chose between attacking Siberia (Russia) or south Asia. The Netherland Indies and Malaka were important for Nippon because of the commodities, oil, bitumen, aluminium and rubber. They chose expansion to the South.
Spying in the Netherland Indies must have started for years before. In fact Nippon immigrants worked already in the Netherland Indies, when I was in the first classes of the Elementary school . In Purwakarta was a Japanese photographer, whose children went to school with us. Later on one of the sons of the photographer was medical student at Batavia, some years senior to me! In Manado there was a Nippon dentist that filled one of my molars with gold. Afterwards they all proofed to have been spies.
Their expansion to South East Asia, they needed the commodities of South East Asia, could get endangered by US interference. However the war in Europa and the involvement of the US was giving them their chance. Admiral Yamamoto planned the attack on Pearl Harbor, even before declaring war to the US. Pearl Harbor was the harbor where nearly the whole US naval power centered.
After the Japanese landed on Java , the Indonesian politically actives groped to find their way. Very soon it was clear Nippon did not want to have any Dutchman in a governmental organization. Very respectfully the Japanese removed all the pictures of the Netherlands Queen at the offices and put the pictures of their Tenno in her place. General Imamura directly took measures to take over the government. Already shortly after disembarking on March 1, he issued his orders relating to the Government of the East Indies.
March 8th the head of the department of the military government, colonel Josjito Nakayama asked 3 prominent nationalists to meet him, Abikoesno Tjokrosoejoso president of the Partai Sarekat Islam Indonesia, Dr. G.S.S.J. Ratulangi editor of the periodical Nationale Commentaren and former member of the Volksraad, representative of the Minahassa and Ir. Soerachman member of the Parindra and also relation of Imamura’s adviser Mr. Soejono. Nakajama’s question was , whether there were suggestions concerning governmental changes. Abikoesno thought Japan wanted the nationalists to think about some governmental organization. The best way was to form a provisional cabinet.
The next day Abikoesno called a meeting of the board members of the PSII, the Gerindo, the Pasoendan, the Persatuan Minahassa, the Partai Arab Indonesia, de student organization Perhimpunan Pelajar Pelajar Indonesia en de Parpindo founder Mr. Moh. Yamin , member of the Volksraad. They proposed the following cabinet: Foreign affairs Mr. Soejono, Interior affairs Mr. Mon. Yamin, Economic affairs drs Moh Hatta, Defense Mayor Santoso of the ex KNIL, Finance Dr. Ratulangi, Education Ki Hadjar Dewantoro, Islamic affairs Kiai Haji Mansoer Religious teacher of the Moehammad yah schools. Transportation Abikoesno Tjokrosyoso, Pers and Propaganda Ir Soekarno (who was on his way from Padang to Java). The Indonesian press was not happy with the proposed arrangement. Some thought Abikoesno placed himself above Ir. Soekarno. Why not wait till Soekarno was at Jakarta?
March 14 the information service of the Japanese army announced Imamura’s headquarter not considered nominating Indonesians to high governmental functions. The ordinance said, for the time being all the activities, consultations, petitions and announcements a.s.o., concerning the legislation or construction of a state were forbidden. Social activities and those concerning sport, arts and sciences or philanthropic ones were allowed. The army sent to Java was a fresh from Japan. People said the army that so terribly misbehaved in Nanking was coming down thru Korea and China and probably accustomed to a different warfare.
We were informed in the mosques was spread a pamphlet: “Kill the Indo Europeans, the Menadonese and the Ambonese”. My father contacted Abikoesno Tjokroaminoto and the pamphlet disappeared. Not long afterwards the lawn in front of our house was filled up with Minahassian women and children. They were sent away from their homes , the barracks of the KNIL (Royal Netherlands Indies Army) The Nippon Army needed those barracks. The women first went to the Minahassian representative to the Volkraad, Nico Mogot, who lived around the corner. He could not help them. My father went to the deputy lord mayor of Jakarta Dahlan Abdulah, an Acehnese ex member of the Volksraad and a close friend of my father. Because the schools were closed , Dahlan gave the Minahassian women permission to use those buildings tentatively. The municipality of Jakarta also furnished the women with rice and oil. My father advised Mr. Johannes Latuharary , the representative of Ambon in the Volksraad to help the Ambonese women. All the Minahassian students were mobilized to assist the women as much as they could. Not long afterwards my father was alarmed to go at once to the old STOVIA (Stichting ter opleiding van indiesche artsen) building.
On arriving there he was confronted by a young Nippon officer. He asked the officer in English some respite for those women so they could pack. The officer did not understand English. He seemed only vexed by the old man preventing him to fulfill his commission. He kicked my father, who fell to the ground. The adolescent sons of the women cried : “Get your fathers guns (tucked who away at the bottom of the trunks) and shoot them!!!” My father hearing those shouts, roared , “Do not mix in with my affairs! I forbid you to get the guns!” He grappled to his feet and promised the women he would soon find another solution.
Afterwards we were visited by Japanese army officers. Among them was the young officer who kicked my father at the STOVIA building. The officers offered their apologies and asked my father what sort of punishment the young officer would have to get. In case my father wanted to have him executed or beheaded it would happen. My father must have been terrified by the thought of it. After some contemplation and looking at the young officer, a kind of fatherly feeling for the young warrior must have invaded him. He said to the young officer: “ I want you to remember what you did and imagine your father experiences it , when he is assisting evacuated women”. After hearing the Nippon translation, the young officer fell to his knees and bade for forgiveness.
During the occupation of the Japanese my father and Mr. Alex Maramis founded an organization called PeKaSe, Penolong Kaum Selebes, to help the women of the ex KNIL soldiers. All over Java this example was followed by leading Minahassians. At Jakarta the Pekase could use two estates , during the 17th century granted to VOC merchants, Tandjung Oost and Tandjung West. Those 2 encampments were led by Albert Ratulangi. He organized industrial activities like rope twisting or cigarette rolling to provide for living conditions. Those encampments had also their own schools and medical service. The overall management of the PeKA Se was by my father’s second wife Marie, C.J. Ratulangi –Tambajong. Mr. Alex Maramis told the ex KNIL soldiers, their Oath to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands evaporated because the Queen of the Netherlands fled het country from the German army and stayed in London. Some of the ex militaries in stayed with their women in those encampments, after they fled from the army.
The Japanese occupation of the Indies consisted of two different entities, The Rikugun or the army and the Kaigun, or the navy. In Tokio those two entities met in a Contact Counsel. To coordinate their activities. They aimed at a collective prosperity sphere in East Asia . In January 1942 the Kaigun already disembarked at the Minahassa, Tarakan (oil), Balikpapan (oil), Kendari (South Celebes), Pontianak (West Borneo) and Ambon.
In Februari 1942 they disembarked at Makassar (South Celebes), Bandjermasin South Borneo, Bali, West Timor and East Timor. They bombarded Darwin (North Australia. In Februari 1942 at Singapora General Parcival capitulated after being slain by the Rikugun. Palembang ( South East Sumatra) was captured by air assault. At the end of February 1942 during the Battle on the Java sea , the Combined Forces American ,British and Netherlands were beaten. Shortly before the capitulation of the Netherlands army at Kalijati, the Governor General Starkenborch did sent his lieutenant governor general van Mook to Australia to represent the Government of the Netherland Indie safterwards. Van Starkenborch Stachouwer was convinced once the US was involved the aggressors would lose. It seems that the Kaigun, before the capitulation of the KNIL, did not want to make prisoners of war, the defeated were all killed according to the informants.
Shortly after the capitulation of the KNIL we were visited by Dr. Andu and Zus Kandouw both respected citizens of the city Manado. They had been interned in Tjilatjap (South West of Java) by the Netherland Indies Government in relation with Pro Nippon attitudes. They warned my father because they told him, “When you are not pro Nippon, you are against Nippon”. It sounded as a warning….. Conforming General Imamura’s ordinance the propaganda department of the Nippon army started the AAA or Tiga A or Dai Tooa ( Great East Asia) movement. Social work, sport , scientific and art activities were promoted. Hitoshy Shimizu was in Jakarta to realize this command.
One ex member of the Volksraad Raden Mr. Sjamsoedin , loco lord mayor of Buitenzorg, became inspired by these possibilities. Later on Soekardjo Wirjapranoto, ex member of the Volksraad, erected a youth movement the Soerya Wirawan. Shimizu was a realist; when people came to him to offer their activity, I heard him asking whether they had an idea. When they had not he advised them to join the fight against illiteracy. I too was captured by the possibility to organize the Indonesian young women to greater independence afterwards from their future husbands. Soekenda, a member of the former forbidden youth movement Indonessia Muda and Maria Amin , a Minangkabouw girl and I were preparing this activity.
To prevent criticism afterwards, we first consulted several people such as Adam Malik leader of the former Indonesia Muda, a youth leader of the PSII, Moh. Hatta and of course Ir. Soekarno to get their consent. Ir. Soekarno told me, the first time he met the word ‘Indonesia” was on a board at the front of my father’s house at Merdika Liu in Bandung. On the Board stood “Insurance Office Indonesia”, 1922.. Enthusiasted the student Soekarno adopted the word Indonesia . Moh Hatta later on became a lecturer in our young women’s organization.
In October 1942 the Tiga A movement was dissolved because it did not really take roots. General Imamura was disappointed.. In the first week of June 1942 my father and some friends who were daily following all the activities of the Kaigun in the Pacific Ocean became alerted. The Japanese fleet was slain by the US in Midway. It could mean some change in the Nippon policy toward Indonesia, hey understood. But it did not happen at once. Possibly the Kaigun did not immediately admit their loss to the Contact counsel in Tokio .
At home we were on the alert. Then Bart Ratulangi , Freddy Maengkom and other Minahassian young men were arrested by the KenPeTai , the military police. Afterwards Freddy told me they were looking for suspicious activities of my father. The young men were tortured , at last Fredy could not stand the torture and confessed the presence of my father at a certain meeting. Freddy knew however, my father could, not possibly, have been there. Bart Ratulangi told us later on, he was tortured and at last hung in the air, his feet fastened with a rope to a beam. . But at the end he was offered excuses and admiration. Afterwards he ate together nasi goreng with his torturers.
For their Collective Sphere of Prosperity in Éast Asia General Tojo had in mind an orchestra in which Nippon was the conductor. But all the members of the orchestra had to be activated. Nippon hoped to activate China by giving it its own government under Wang Ching Wei, originally a combatant of Chiang Kai Check. But the Chinese under Wang had to give a great part of their rice crops to the Nippon army and most of their businesses were already captured by Japanese family businesses. In the north of China the communists were already active. The Japanese wanted, by their change of policy towards China , to cut down their own army there. They were now at war with the US. Many of the ex KNIL Menadonese, Ambonese, Timorese but also Javanese and Soendanese conscripted in the Heiho, an auxiliary army for Nippon. They did it to earn a living.
Although Soekarno did not really believe Dai Nippon would defeat the US, he understood the Indonesians expected his leadership towards freedom. The Japanese wanted a person with enough charisma to wake up the people for their Dai Tooa. Soekarno was a Javanese and Muslim, he would most possibly be capable to arise the people. Moreover he had been exiled by the Netherlands Government because of his appeal to the masses.
About July 1942 he agreed with Moh. Hatta. Although the one was not really a friend of the other, they decided to work together. Their aim was to work together with Dai Nippon , so the Japanese would allow more Indonesians in high functions and to erect an Indonesian army. After Soekarno did agree to collaborate with Dai Nippon to realize Dai Tooa, he made a trip through Java and was with received with enthusiasm by the masses.
Moh. Hatta and Soekarno were cooperating, like most Indonesians for the “Sphere of Greater Prosperity in East Asia”. A Tata Negara ( governmental) commission was formed with Prof. Soepomo, Ki Hajar Dewantoro, Hadji Mansoer of the Mohamadijah and Situ Gunung Mulia ( Batak Christian). Another commission, the Komissie Bahasa Indonesia for the Indonesian language, was to define the Indonesian Malay. Soekardjo Wirjopranoto proposed the idea of a pure Indonesian native movement . Among several native needs the aim was , of course , to defend the Great East Asian Co-prosperity sphere. The leadership of this movement were called the Empat Serangkai (The Four United like a shamrock) consisting of Ir. Soekarnno, drs. Moh.Hatta. Ki Hadjar Dewantoro of the Taman Siswa Schools and Kyai Hadji Mansur an Islamic teacher. Concerning the name and the purpose of the new people’s organization the four leaders had to reach the consent of the Army’s planning board, Nakajama ( born in Indonesia) and the Navy’s Miyosji ( Co worker of Rear of admiral Maeda). Many proposals were not allowed, but the name of the capital Batavia changed officially to Jakarta.
The red and white flag , the anthem Indonesia Raya and the word Indonesia, were all forbidden. Agreed upon was the name “POETERA” ( SON) an abbreviation of “ Poesat Tenaga Rakyat unruk membantoe tenaga perang” (Cente of people’s power to assist in the war efforts). Soekarno told the press on December 8th 1942, the new people’s organization would start at the 1st of 1943. But both the Rikogun and the Kaigun had still their doubts about this Indonesian proposal. It lasted untill the 1st March Soekarno could announce that on 9 March 1943 , the memorial day of the capitulation of the KNIL, that the POETERA would be inaugurated at the Ikada (Koningsplein) square. On that day the square was over flown by people and in his speech Soekarno used very often the word Indonesia……..
During the ensuing months it was striking that even the old academic Minahassians , who barely spoke Malay and identified themselves with the Dutch, at the end of meetings solidary shouted “Amerika kita strika, Inggeris kita linggis”, America we strike, Brittain we split open. . Complete with their fists threateningly in the air!
In November 1942 the Australian’s had joined the Americans in a savage struggle at Guadal Canal and lost 3.095 men while 5.451 were wounded. At last the Japanese were defeated at Guadal Canal and Papua. After these developments the Strategy of Nippon was changed, in Tokio there was decided to stop the Japanese thrust eastward in the Pacific. The westward movement of the Allied Forces had to be halted. On 1 March 1943 a convoy of Japan with 6.900 soldiers slipped out of Rabaul’s harbor to Huon Peninsula, the north east tip of New Guinea. During the following days it was repeatedly assaulted by the Allied airplanes, at last, only 950 men reached the Huon Peninsula.
That time my father succeeded to get permission to send many Minahassians students home to their families in the Minahassa by boat. He was contemplating the possibility to spread the thought of future independency of the whole archipelago after the war.
He was negotiating with the Kaigun , the possibility to be sent to Makassar to awake the people there to join an organization like the POETRA but named the SUDARA (Brother) actually acronym of Sumber Darah Rakyat . Mr. Tadjoeddin Noor, an ex member of the Volksraad from Borneo would go Borneo. My father would try to reach the people of Celebes and if possibly the other eastern islands. We were often visited by count Hideko Kodama and Nishijima. My father had often meetings with Sato the head of the Kai Gun Bukanfu, the library of the Marine. My second mother Marie Tambayong was often very afraid he would say the wrong things , because Sato liked to drink sake with my father, they were like buddies.
At about this time my father called me in his office and did show me the “Protocols of the sons of Zion”,(Editor: probably is meant “Protocols of the elders of Zion“) written by a Russian clergyman before the Russian revolution. He told me to read them, but never to tell anybody I read them, because it would harm my future. My father was somehow compelled to write about the Protocols in the news paper Asia Raya. We understood we had to be on the alert. He was warning me too.
During their occupation the Japanese paid very much attention to three parts of the population, the nationalist, the Islamists and the indigenous rulers. We were Christians. The Empat Serangkai fulfilled their promise to help popularize the idea of the Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere. Soekarno promoted the popular participation to work as ‘romusha’ (laborer) for the Japanese army. Later on the Empat Serangkai complained because the Nanking government got “independence” in Januariy 1943, Birma would get it in August and the Philipines in October. When would we follow?
In May 1943 the Contact Counsel in Tokio decided Singapora and the East Indies would be incorporated in the Japanese Empire. On the isle of Java , the indigenous population would be given some self government.
April 14, 1943 the US secret service intercepted a message. The admiral Isoroko Yamamoto Commander in Chief of the Nippon Navy would be in a plane above Bougainville on April 18. On April 18, 1943 an allied plane spotted Yamamoto’s plane and shot of a wing of the plane. Consequently it plunged in the sea. This was a loss to the Kai Gun who could not conceal it and at last it had to avow its many losses in the South Pacific. Not long afterwards my father, Tadjoeddin Noor and their families got permission leave for Celebes and Borneo. I stayed at Jakarta , because the Ikadai Gakko (medical high school) started and I wanted to continue my study.
In April 1943 the POETERA members complained. Soekarno found out the Japanese sent the romusha to work in other countries, in Birma and Thailand. Furthermore railway material from Java was sent to Birma. Moh. Hatta complained there was no unity in the Nippon government since Java was under the 16th Army , Sumatra under the 25th and Borneo, Celebes and the other islands under the Navy. T he nationalists wanted more participation in the government not only in Java, but in the whole of Indonesia. They wanted their anthem the Indonesia Raya and have their own red and white flag They wanted to send their complaint m to the prime minister Tojo. But it was clear that general Harada, the successor of General Imamura , would not pass this critical letter to the prime minister. Rear Admiral Maeda was consulted by Empat Serangkai , he knew a better way. The message could travel via a naval officer who was connected to the military government of the Kaigun and be passed to Prime Minister Tojo. On Juli 5th general Harada announced the installation of several indigenous advisory councils for cities and municipalities.
Juli 7th the Empat Serangkai, the advisory council for the Tata Negara , the Masyumi (big Islamic organization) , the four autonomous rulers and the indigenous government officials had all to be present at Prime Minister Tojo’s arrival . Soekarno expressed his appraisal of the visit by the Nippon Prime Minister as an older brother During the centuries of Netherlands domination such had never happened. He promised more assistance for the Japanese war effort. Prime minister Tojo, however pleased he might have been , could not promise more than the Tokio Contact Counsel allowed him. No more participation in Government of Java.
The 7th June 1944 General Harada announced the POETERA would be phased out. A new organization the JAVA HOKOKAI or Himpunen Kebaktian Rakyat ( loyal popular organization ) would take its place. It had about the same targets as the POETERA, but every body could join , from the age of 14 yrs onwards, after being approved by the local indigenous government, Chinese, Arab and Indoeuropeans could join. The whole population of Java had to be organized in small tonairi gumis (communities) led by a gumicho, assisted by 8 hanchos for the distribution of tasks to clean the quarter, concerning the agriculture, hygiene etc. By the tonari gumi the Japanese army had total control over the population of Java.
On 7 September 1944 Soekarno was called to the Palace of General Harada and was informed that Prime Minister Koisho, Tojo’ the successor announced that Indonesia would be independent at the end of 1945. The red and white flag was allowed. Soekarno was surprised ! The Barisan Pelopor was formed. Every man of 25 yrs could be a member. Each town had some unities of 20 members, each district had several battalions, Ir. Soekarno would be the commander. The Barisan Pelopor was not really armed, they did only carry bamboo runtjing (shatpened bamboo sticks). One week of festivity followed. Also the Pembela Tanah Air (PETA) , voluntary army for the defence of the home land under Japanese leadership was founded. In March 1945 a Civil Governmental Academy was founded, one for 50 accomplished higher civil servants and another for 150 persons who had already an academic or followed some further education..
February 1945 the PETA revolted. January General Harada had proposed a commission to investigate the possibility of independence. This was followed by much criticism from other Japanese occupational forces On May 5, Shimizu planned a big meeting of the students of the middle schools of Java at the Villa Isola, Bandung. The medical students , asked my opinion, because we were not invited. I suggested we all could go to the Villa Isola and propose to the middle school students to claim the participation of the medical students. So we did and after we were also invited too, my colleagues asked me what would be our next position. I proposed the claiming of Independence at once., Kemerdekaan segera. In the end we succeeded again. After this meeting , all over Java the students of thee middle schools organized demonstrations claiming: ‘Kemerdekaan Sekarang juga!’
On the 29th of May 1945 was the first meeting of the Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia (BPUPKI) in the old Volksraad building. The body investigating the possibility of independence. The chairman was Dr. K.Radjiman .T.Wedyodiningrat (born 21-04-1879). During the next 3 days there were deliberations after introductory talks of Moh. Yamin, a Minangkabouw ex Volksraad representative and Prof. Soepomo from the Juridical Faculty.
On the 1st of June Ir. Soekarno brought his compilation of the deliberations during those 3 days. He noted 5 principles :
First . Nationalism based on the collective wish to be together. ,
Second . Humanism, the philosophy asserting the dignity and worth of mankind.
Third. Democracy based on consent of a plurality.
Fourth. Kesejahteraan social. Common wellbeing of the people
Fifth. Ketuhanan, the belief in God.
The PANCA SILA was born !!! The pillars supporting the Indonesian State. We all had the feeling God was with us. The next meetings of the BPUPKI took place in June and and July 1945. There were formed several sub commissions. The most important little commission was on planning of the Constitution. Consisting of Prof. Soepomo, Mr. Toemenggoeng Wongsonegoro, Mr. Soebardjo, Mr. Pandji Singgih, Mr. Max Maramis, Haji Agoes Salim dan Dr. Soekiman Wiryosandjoyo. When this little council met on 13-07-1945, the medical students were alerted.
They tried to be in the council room in the Volksraad. We, the female students were asked to prepare the food for the council members at the hotel Savoy. When we were ready we went to the Volksraad building to find the male students sitting and lying on the lawn surrounding the building. Before the entrance were positioned Japanese soldiers fully armed. Before realizing the danger, I put down my bike and went up to the entrance gesturing to the soldiers to put down their weapons and the students to follow me, what they did. On entering the public side of the council room it was clear the council members got aware of our presence.
We knew of a compromise Ir. Soekarno tried to reach, called the Piagam Jakarta or the Jakarta Charter. The compromise was between the Muslims and the Nationalists . It concerned article 29 of the proposed constitution concerning the Religion. The Believe in God, “ while the adherents to the Islam had to live according to the Shari’a”. Haji Abdoel Wachid Hasyim , President of the Madjelis Islam A’laa Indonesia, was a Cairo educated Member of the Muslim Brotherhood . He had claimed Indonesia to be an Islam state, based on the fact that 95% of the Indonesian population was Islam. One can understand Ir. Soekarno cherished the ultimately reached compromise . The compromise was called the Piagam Jakarta or the Jakarta Charter dated 22 Juli 1945. 15 August the Emperor Hiro Hito capitulated after Hiroshima and Nagasaki were hit by atom bombs.
I was approached by the president of the Christian student organization, Oscar E. Engelen. The Christian students were not happy with the compromise because the commitment to be living according to the shari’a by Muslims would split the Indonesian people. I knew most of the medical students were also against the Piagam.. So as last resort we planned to put the problem to my father. He came to Jakarta ( Editor: from Makassar where he was staying at that time) together with other representatives from the islands outside of Java on August 15. When my father was settled in hotel des Indes we told him it was difficult for us to join the coming independence struggle when the Piagam Jakarta was included in the Constitution.
My father promised to think about it.
The next day he told me , he took our problem to Mr. Haji Teuku Moehamad Hasan from Aceh. He was a well known scholar of Islamic law. Teuku Moeh. Hasan told my father he could live in a country as long as the laws of that country were not against the Islam. My father asked him to let this opinion be known to constitution commission, mainly to Soekarno and Hatta. My father could not do it, being a Christian.
At that time the medical student hostel proofed to be closed for the female students. The male students were all included in a kidnapping of Soekarno- Hatta. This action seemed to be led by the older , pre war student leaders of the PPPI, Soekarni, Chairul Saleh, Wikana and others. They kidnapped Soekarno-Hatta who did not want to declare the independence immediately. Both were brought to a little town near Jakarta, Rengasdengklok. Soekarno-Hatta still refused to declare the independence while the Japanese army were still in power.
Mr. Soebardjo noted both the leaders were no longer in Jakarta. He consulted Maeda. The Kenpeitai was instructed to seek it out. At last Nishijima found out where they were. Soebardjo decided to go to Rengasdengklok together with a worker of Maeda, to convey the message the Rear Admiral Maeda wanted to cooperate. His house was at the disposal for the meetings. He guaranteed their safe return to Jakarta. Before going to Rengas dengklok Soebardjo sent message to the members of the BUPKI and the representatives of the outer islands , to be present at Maeda’s house at 10 o’clock.
Soekarno-Hatta arrived there in the night of the 16th August. There upon Maeda had a long telephone call with general Nishimura in which he threatened there would be big upheavals tomorrow when there did not happen anything. Soekarno still tried to get any cooperation from the Japanese army, but the general did stick to the orders from Tokio, not to change the status quo after Nippon’s capitulation. He promised however the army would not interfere when the Indonesians declared their independence.
At the house of Maeda ,Soekarno complained that he had no guards at all, his army had only the bamboo runcing. My father promised him a well trained guard. The ex KNIL soldiers had during the occupation, found a job as chucker-outs of the Chinese gambling houses at Passar Senen. These men promised my father they would do anything he asked them. After the Proclamation on the 17th of August 1945 President Soekarno and vice president Moh. Hatta had their guards, sturdy Minahassian ex soldiers.
Vice president Hatta said in his speech at the Declaration of Independence, the president will be an authentic Indonesian. The vice president Hatta added: “The obligation of Indonesians to live in accordance with the shari’a “, can be scratched out of the preliminary constitution. “Those people of the outer islands, who are Christians, also can stand up for our constitution.”
After the Netherlands Indies Civil Administration tried to take root again , among the first things they did was , imprisoning Rear Admiral Maeda and Nishijima in the Struiswijk jail at Jakarta because they did not keep the Status Quo after the capitulation of Japan. After the war Nishijima became Professor at the Waseda University at Tokio. I visited with Prof. Nishijima Rear Admiral Maeda’s grave. He was buried at the site of the Tokio Cemetery where Prime Minister Tojo, Admiral Yamamoto and others found their last resting place, the site is called ” Yasukuni Shrine”, dedicated to the Nipponese War criminals.
- Het Koninlrijk der Nederlanden. 11a&b. Dr. L. de Jong, 1984.
- Island Fighting . Time Life Books . Rafael Steinberg, 1998.
- Risalah Sidang Badan Penyelidik Usaha Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia. BPUPKI, Panitia persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia. PPKI, 29 Mei 1945- 19 Augutus 1945. Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia. 1992.
- Meeting with Prof. Nishijima of the Wasada university at Tokio, 1987.
- Remembrances of Emilia A. Pangalila-Ratulangi PhD. Md. Amsterdam University
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Two letters from Emilia A. Pangalila-Ratulangi