Home > Analysis > A Monument for J.C. de Groot

A Monument for J.C. de Groot

I have known this for quite sometime but when I introduced myself to Komunitas Aleut to explain the whole background of what brought me to all this, the leader of the community (Ridwan Hutagalung) reminded me that there was once a memorial monument for Dr. J.C. de Groot in Citarum street in Bandung and that his name was later to be a street name of what is now known as Jalan Siliwangi (Siliwangi Street). Then I was like taking this into my writing agenda for this blog. It has some importance at least for 1) The fact that the monument is now no longer existed, 2) Some people mistakenly refer to the wrong name. The latter I figured out just as I begin to write this blog entry.

Ridwan showed me how the monument looked like. It’s a back cover of a book and it’s not in any way decent to be shown here. Luckily, there’s a website called KITLV in the section of Digital Image Library. One of the pictures is the monument in question :

To its left is one of Bandung’s landmark: Gedung Sate. It is said the the monument was destroyed as it was considered indecent (showing nudity).

The late Bandung historian, Haryoto Kunto, has another picture of this monument from different angle. With some other details, it can be found here. I put it here for the sake of comparison with the above :

The detail there is quite interesting. I should translate it :

Di tempat Mesjid Istiqomah sekarang berdiri (Taman Citarum), dahulunya terdapat dua buah monumen peringatan yang sangat fenomenal dimasanya. Pertama Patung dada S.J. Aay, anggota Volksraad yang juga pendiri Ikatan Bintara Militer Belanda (1920) dan Monumen Radio Telefon Holland-Nusantara. Untuk monumen yang kedua, warga Bandung tempo doeloe lebih senang menjuluki monumen itu sebagai “Bloote Billen Plein” alias “Taman Pantat Bugil”. Monumen berbentuk globe dengan dua patung tanpa busana, berhadapan pada masing-masing sisinya. Monumen itu dibuat untuk mengenang pembicaraan pertama kali melalui radio telefon, antara Holland dan Nusantara yang terjadi pada tanggal 5 Mei 1923, melalu instalasi Pemancar Radio Telefon di lereng Gunung Malabar. Untuk memperingati peristiwa bersejarah itu, Walikota Bandung B. Coops, meminta bantuan kepada arsitek Prof. C.P. Wolff Schoemaker, untuk merancang dan mendirikan monumen bersejarah itu. Nasib kedua monumen ini, seperti nasib monumen-monumen lainnya, musnah ditelan jaman.

There were two monuments once considered phenomenal in the place that today is where the mosque of Istiqomah is located (Citarum Garden). The first is the statue of S.J. Aay; the member of Volksraad who were also the founder of Dutch Military Non-Com Union (1920), and the second, the monument of radio telephony between Holland – Indonesia. Bandungers prefered to call the latter “Bloote Billen Plein” or “The Statue of Nude Butt”. It showed a globe with two nude statues in the two side of it. The monument was built to recall the first conversation using radio telephony between the Netherland and Dutch Indies, taken place in 5thMay 1923 using radio telephony transmitter installation in the slope of Malabar Mountain. To commemorate the historical event, the major of Bandung, B. Coops had asked Prof. C.P. Wolff Schoemaker, an architect, to design and build the monument. The monument, like all others, was detroyed.

I need to check Haryoto Kunto’s book myself because the mention of that specific date is really startled me! (but I believe the website should be credible enough, though). This is to do with ‘a little debate’ that I have with someone about why the commemoration should take place at 5th May 2013. As you could read from my previous writing, my reason was simply the fact that at that day there was a momentum of the official opening. Now with this account, the date choice is somehow confirmed. If the Dutch consider the date to be historical (so that they need to build a monument for it), why should we think of another ? Okay, it says ‘the first radio telephony conversation’, … it’s somehow denoting the official recognition by the Dutch Government, because we could just imagine that de Groot must have tried the contact before exactly that date. Anyway, it also implies an irony because, as I have written before, at 5thMay 1923, the transmitter failed to work.

Idon’t know what is written in the monument, but a conversation with one of Aleut member has informed me that Haryoto Kunto translated the words into :
Bertepatan dengan peresmian hubungan Radio Telepon antara Indonesia dengan Negeri Belanda tanggal 5 Mei 1923 itu, sebuah upacara telah dilakukan di Tjitaroemplein (Taman Citarum) (Kunto, 1984:262).
My translation :
“In conjunction with the official opening of radio telephony between Indonesia and Netherland at 5thMay 1923, a ceremony was held in Tjitaroemplein (Citarum Garden) (Kunto, 1984: 262).”
I am not sure if it’s really the text. It just doesn’t sound proper.

Anyway, for the second, it refers to the naming of the street: one that is now called Siliwangi street. There are some internet websites saying that the name was once Dr. de Greerweg. I guess it could be more than just two, but at least what I found is here and here. The wording is almost the same, it could be a copy-paste from either one. There’s even a Youtube video mentioning Greerweg :

Now I can tell for sure, that it should be Dr. de Grootweg :)

Categories: Analysis Tags:
  1. 07/09/2012 at 11:37 pm

    Untuk memperingati peristiwa bersejarah itu, yaitu peristiwa hubungan telepon-radio pertama antara Indonesia dan Negeri Belanda; saya membuat sebuah pesawat penerima radio jenis ‘long range short wave radio receiver’ yang secara khusus dirancang sebagai kelengkapan seorang ‘short wave listener’ (SWL). Pesawat penerima radio khusus ini, saya beri julukan ‘Malabar Dream 1’ tipe BR-301. Disain enjineringnya seluruhnya sudah selesai. Tinggal menyelesaikan disain produknya, yang nantinya akan diberi citra (image) ‘oldish’ atau bolehlah dibilang ‘tampilan disainnya bergaya tahun 1920-an’.

    Pesawat penerima radio sejenis yang sekarang sudah benar-benar jadi sampai ke produknya, adalah ‘long range short wave radio receiver’ yang diberi julukan ‘Boerangrang’ tipe BR-302. Ini merupakan alternatif yang agak lebih sederhana. Foto pesawat penerima radio ini bisa dilihat di http://www.flickr.com/photos/radio_bram/5017315934/

    Kedua pesawat penerima radio ini, sedang dipersiapkan untuk masuk lini produksi dan akan diproduksi dengan pendekatan ‘handmade’. Dan akan dilepas sebagai ‘special gift’ dari Kota Bandung, mulai nanti pada tahun 2013. Tentunya dalam rangka memperingati peristiwa Stasiun Radio Malabar itu…….

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: