The Struggle for Indonesian Independence – Hatta and Sjahrir in exile in Banda

Mohammad Hatta ditangkap oleh Pemerintah Colonial pada 25 Februari 1934, dan dipenjarakan di Penjara Glodok. Sebelum ia di berankatkan ke Boven Digul, Hatta diizinkan keluar selama tiga hari untuk mengepak buku-bukanya dalan enam belas peti. Pada salah satu hari itu foto ini dibuat di Kebon Jeruk nomor 37.

After his return from the Netherlands in 1932. Mohammad Hatta was arrested by the Colonial Government on 25 February 1934 and jailed in Glodok prison until his deportation to Boven Digul in January 1935. Before his departure he was allowed to pack up his books in sixteen chests. This picture was taken on one of those days at Kebon Jeruk number 37.

Mohammad Hatta at home with his mother and sisters

Hatta and Sjahrir were moved from Boven Digul arriving on the colonial vessel Fomalhaut on February 11 1936, and were greeted by a large crowd while landing in Banda Neira.

Hatta and Sjahrir temporarily stayed in the house of a fellow exile Tjipto Mangunkusumo for a week until they were able to move to their own residence which happened to be next to the jail. A few months later Sjahrir decided to move to another residence.

Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo and his wife

Rumah Pengasinan Sutan Sjahrir
Sutan Sjahrir on Banda with members of the Alwi family

In total their were sixteen political detainees living in Banda from 1880 until 1942 as listed in this memorial erected by Des Alwi.

To occupy their time Hatta and Sjahrir opened an afternoon school for the children of Banda Neira. Hatta gave lessons to the older children and Sjahrir to the younger ones. The house has been restored as a national memorial and the desks and the blackboard from the school are in place in the rear of the Hatta house.

Exile Residence of Mohammad Hatta
The school in the rear of the house

After Pearl Harbour was attacked by the Japanese in December 1941, the Dutch Governor General in Batavia ordered that Hatta and Sjahrir be brought back to Java. In the early morning of January 31, 1942 a Catalina seaplane of the American Navy landed in the harbour and according to Sjahrir:

We had to leave before daylight, because otherwise it would not be possible. The Japanese were in Ambon and their planes were expected to follow the Catalina at any moment. All of Banda was on the dock – half awake, half dressed, unwashed, and frightened – to see us off.

On July 7, 1942 Soekarno returned to Batavia from his ten years of exile in Sumatra. Soon after his return, he, Hatta and Sjahrir met to plan their response to the Japanese occupation and their plans for Indonesian independence. It was agreed that for the time being Soekarno and Hatta would cooperate with the Japanese, while Sjahrir and his friends , who were anti-fascist democrats would be active in the underground with the goal of resurrecting the nationalist movement.

After the bombing of Hiroshima and the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945 then on August 17, 1945 Soekarno and Hatta proclaimed the independence of the Republic of Indonesia.

The Proclamation of Independence
Admiral Maeda, Soekarno and Hatta at the Proclamation of Independence, August 17, 1945

About ianburnet

Author of the book, Spice Islands. Which tells the History, Romance and Adventure of the spice trade from the Moluccas in Eastern Indonesia over a period of 2000 years. Author of the book, East Indies.Which tells the history of the struggle between the Portuguese Crown, the Dutch East India Company and the English East India Company for supremacy in the Eastern Seas. Author of the book 'Archipelago - A Journey Across Indonesia'. Author of the book 'Where Australia Collides with Asia' Author of the book 'The Tasman Map'. Author of the book 'Eastern Voyages'.
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