Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Remains of Hotel Tjandi and A Story of Divorce Drama

Hotel Tjandi, the current condition are photos in the left side taken on April 2013 and on the right side were the condition on the same sites, the zweembad (eng:swimming pool) on 1927, with the luggage label of Hotel Tjandi.
(source: Leiden University Library | e-bay)
Hello World!

This afternoon in the middle of my daily activity, I've visited the remains of Hotel Tjandi, one's of the best hotel in Semarang during colonial period. Visiting the remains of the glorious Hotel Tjandi actualy kind of weird since there's nothings left, only its fences and its decayed-swimming pools remains. The funny fact that the ruins of the swimming pool that once made this hotel famous, now used as the volley ball fields. The Tjandi Hotel according to the advertisement in De Locomotief, a  popular newspaper based on Semarang opened in September 25th 1888. The Hotel claimed has sophisticated view of the city of Semarang and Java Sea. The hotel initialy contains 16 spacious rooms that also has a telephone connection, water pipeline facility (which at that time consider as very luxury) and also provided with restaurant that served fresh milk. The Tjandi Hotel which located in 300 feet above sea level was only eight minutes away from Djomblang tram station, made it always easily accessible. The hotel even has its own car rental, located in the opposite of Djomblang tram station, where there are also available buses to the city or to southern part of the city to be reached. 

There's not so many articles regarding this Hotel Tjandi, mostly the articles was about the murder that happens in this hotel that also reported by De Locomotief . I've translatted and edited the content of the events that exacted 84 years ago happened as follows, so sorry before if its not appropriated translated. (See the original one's here)

Hotel Tjandi on 1910 (Source: Leiden University Library)

OCHTENDBLAD, A (eng: Morning Paper).  25 Aug. 1929

De moord in het Tjandi-hotel te Semarang 
(eng: The murder in the Tjandi hotel in Semarang)

(eng: Divorce Drama)

Just as telegraphic reported, its happened in the pleasant Hotel Tjandi in Semarang on Monday 22 July at 12.15 PM a drama play. With four shots , three of which exceeded target, has certain A. N. van den Worm Mr. W. van Zuylen , a member of the orphan room there, deprived of life. The perpetrator writes for The Locomotive daily he choose on silent midday , while Mr Van Zuylen with his wife received Mr. Oei visits then together have a afternoon tea drinking. Suddenly appeared in the middle of the three unsuspecting men the aforementioned with a revolver in hand, caused the fatality for Mr. Van Zuylen. Shortly after committing the crime, the perpetrator were explained the shots as the following :

Mr. J. Blom, superintendant of the hotel, in the hall of the hotel waiting for the afternoon . He suddenly heard a bang. Soon afterwards he heard screaming from the Northwest Appear corner of the hotel , from the direction of the rooms occupied by Mr. Van Zuylen and his expectant wife , Mrs . Keyer . Mr Blom rushed there and saw Van den Worm standing with revolver in hand, while Mr. Van Zuylen lay on the ground in a pool of blood . At a distance Mr. Blom, with a little bit frightened , look assigns Van den Worm and cried far, "Give me that thing! ". Van den Worm replied "Here it is , and here you have some spare cartridges as well. I shot him . Call the police after all" .

Mr Blom then went to the phone with Van den Worm to warn the police, still felt shocked and amazed because of how come the perpetrator commited a crime then call the police for what he done? Van den Worm was now quiet in the hall of the hotel and said among other things, "Look yet again that this man were supposed to be dead! Otherwise he goes there next time anyway". A moment later it was called : "I have over ten years . I have already said that he was coming. That was a honor , like Van Rijn .

So hows the crime has taken place, please read as followings,
On that day the inhabitants of the rooms on the northern wing of the hotel  along with heavy looping fit. A lady , who stood at the window of her room , glanced , who surely the man was who found it necessary at this hour of afternoon rest with so heavy steps on the hotel gallery to march. She saw a man who had his right hand in his pocket  pass . Sometime later there were shots 

For the room of Mr. Van Zuylen were Mr van Zuylen near the door with the face and on his right sat Mrs.  Keyer and left, with his back were Mr. Oei . To the provisional statements show ,Van den Worm with rushing mighty pass to the corner came behind and walked to Mr. Oei 's called something like, " Where are my children?" . Immediately afterwards or perhaps simultaneously pulled a revolver and four shots fired . In two or three seconds, that was the drama happened.

The current condition of the front fences of Hotel Tjandi,
the buildings were already demolished on 1997. 
The reason for this heinous crime should be sought in a love affair .The perpetrator, Van den Worm , a man of 51 years , was formerly married to Mrs . Keyer , with whom he has three children. This marriage, which was very unfortunate, was disbanded last year. It was during this marriage and be the occasion of a violent scene in the house of the family Van den Worm, then the story goes when Mr. Van Zuylen met Mrs. Keyer . He lived in a pavilion at the home of Van den Worm. Mrs Keyer anyway, threatened Mr. Van Zuylen in such a manner that later made Mr.Van den Worm dislike it. Then Mrs . Keyer is fled to the pavilion where Mr Van Zuylen lived . Start form that time, the separation process started.

The victim of this crime , Mr. W. van Zuylen, was a quiet , calm and modest man. A hard worker , who diligence in the course of years of committees in the orphan room service. He lived a quiet life and would soon be married with mrs . Keyer , the former wife of Mr. Van den Worm, with whom he had lived for long time and even the peoples already applied Her as Mrs. Van Zuylen. Mr. Van den Worm apparently very strongly affected by these separation. So it seems that he had to "avenge" not to have to lose. 

A member of policemen did the research about the case, led by Mr. Wird Barendregt , commenced the perpetrator, seens from how he came and how he performedsimiliar with the Van Rijn case, another murder case in Madiun , which Mr Van den Rijn shoted notary Heyman Cohen till dead , apparently has been inspired the Van den Worm. Currently, Mrs. Keyer still suffered by the murders on that noons and it is transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital on the evening. It will certainly take a considerable time to recover. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Between Timber Company and Saminism

The Vereeniging Javasche Houthandel Maatschappij (Java Hout) building in Bandarharjo, Semarang as it appears on 2013, abandoned and decayed. No longer could showed the glorious of the primary Dutch-Indies timber company. 
Timber, one’s of the basic resources for the humankind. Talking about this, moreover about the business related to this were very interesting. In this modern era’s where the forestal area  were reduced from time to time, the needs of timber were also growth significantly. A lots of ways had been made to changed the used of timber, since its getting so expensive today. But for those who pursuing the luxurious and prestigious felt, there are no doubt for them to spend more to it. Last nite, after a charity events, in the rural areas outskirt of Semarang City, in Genuk, me and my friends passed a multinational furniture company that’s owned their own “palace” over there, The Harrison & Gill Co . A walled building with a mediteranean style gate, with the several Moorish-style building inside. The people surround said that it’s used as both the residence of the owner and its production facilities. Checking on the owner profile on wiki, He designed and built a one million square foot workshop complex in Java in order to accommodate the 1,400 carvers, woodcarvers and specialist finishers that craft his designs. Could you imagine how big its?

The warehouse of Java Hout on 1915, located besides the
offices now is no longer existed anymore. (source: Leiden University Library)
Here in Semarang, long before Harrison & Gill existed, once there’s a big timber company established by the East-Indie government. It’s the important timber exporter to Netherlands specifically, Europe Generally. Its Vereenigde Javasche Houthandel Maatschappij or simply called as Java Hout in Bandarharjo, North Semarang. The building of this primary timber company in East Indies now is used as the office of Perusahaan Daerah (Perusda) Jawa Tengah. But since its often to get floods, now its abandoned, like the others building surround it, the Lendeteves Stokvis building for example, that located in front of it, its getting badly damaged from time to time.

From the inscription in front fa├žade of the building, its showed us that its established on 1911. The workshop of Java Hout, besides this building were already collapsed. There’s lack of activity except a few people’s who residenced in the housing complex behind it. The Java Hout, instead having the important role for the timber industry in Indonesia, related to the modernization of timber industry, its also having a story related to the creation of Samin movement in Blora, the main source of Timber in Java.

Its Samin Surosentiko or Raden Kohar from di Ploso Kedhiren, Randublatung, Blora. He was the leader of the Samin movement that persuade the people of Blora, specifically those who lived in the teak forest area, performed protest against the Dutch. At that time, the Dutch via Java Hout claimed the permission to exploitated the teak forest in Blora. Here for long time until now, is famous for the best quality of its teak wood.  Thus, people outside the company, the indigenous people also were forbidden to cut the trees surround the areas which already monopolized by Java Hout. Those who were violated the rules would be prisoned.

Monorailbaan, the monorail track using for the timber
transport in Blora, around 1914. (source: Tropical Institute)
Seeing this condition, and felt that He together with his people are the owner of this forest for a centuries, a legacy from their ancestor, so long before the Dutch claimed that its belong to them. During his speeches on 1889, Samin stated that the land of Java is owned by the descendants of the Pandawa, Pandawa are family descendants of Majapahit Kingdom. This history is written on one’s of the Java book tittled Punjer Kawitan. According to the content of Punjer kawitan, Samin Surosentiko persuade his people to fight against the Dutch Government. “This Java soil does not belong to the Dutch, this were our ancestor land! Java is for the Javanese!” he said.

Hence, after that, He together with his follower formed Samin Movement. A peaceful protest, like what Gandhis with his Ahimsa principle. The Samin people were refused to pay the tax, refused the duty to work for the Dutch-Indies government, and refused the duty to performing the regular night watch. The Samin movement soon gained hundreds of follower and its spread into the cities surround Blora like Cepu and Bojonegoro. The Samin movement also have a purposed to create the Independence State ruled by the Javanese, thus they could live in peace and harmony.

The government of Dutch-Indies getting furious knowing what the Samin Surosentiko and his follower does.  The Batavia feared that the Samin movement would growth bigger and could harm the stabilization in Java. Then on the same years,on 1907 Samin Surosentiko together with 8 of his follower, arrested by the Dutch-Indies government and exiled to Padang, West Sumatera until he died on 1914. The Samin movement after their leader being exiled were not extincted, they isolated themselves from the outside, and even there’s a story told that they just found a fact that Indonesia has gained their independence from the Dutch in the years of 1970’s.