De mysterieuze dood van een priestervorst

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2nd man from right Adranoes Lohij, the keeper or Dardanel of captain Veltman, standing between some Acehnese teukoe’s. On his chest the Military Order of William and the bronze medal for humanitarian aid Betoon.

The exhibition ” The Last Batakkoning ‘in 2008 Bronbeek Museum and the associated book gave a clear picture of what preceded the death of Si Singamangaraja. The book, composed largely of research Harm Stevens, has many original documents that takes the reader to a turbulent time. A period during which the final resistance stoves are turned off, and large areas of the islands are subjected to the colonial authority.

On the moments of the life of the Batakkoning are different readings. By unlocking an old photograph, showing an indigenous former soldier with the caption “Keeper of chief Veltman ‘new facts came to light.

The twelfth Si Singamangaraja
Ompoe Pulo Batu was the twelfth Si Singamangaraja either Lion Forest in succession and gold for his people as sacred. Through a veil of mystery that hung around him and his hierarchical position in the line of the sacrificial priests, he was appointed by the Western world as the priest frost. The priest prince born in 1849 was just like the previous two Si Singamangaraja’s based in Bakara, located southwest of Lake Toba in North Sumatra. The Batak, located around Lake Toba, lived mostly autonomous and constituted mid nineteenth century, not a nation. But by forcing Dutch-government and the growing influence of the mission, led by mostly German missionaries in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the Batak had a common enemy. This led in 1883 to a rebellion among more than 9,000 Toba Batak against the Western invaders. The violence was anything western was in smoke but also the converted Batak villages had to pay for it. The fear was well in with the Europeans and many left headlong the Batak region. The priest prince was seen as a leader of this uprising and Dutch government-ordered in the same year Dutch Indian Army with a punitive expedition against the priest frost. 4 months raged war Batak region. After the Dutch East Indies Army had reached his residence in Bakara on August 12, the priest prince had already fled with his followers to Lintong in upland jungles south of Lake Toba. Bakara was Dutch Indian Army ‘punished’ or rather, completely destroyed. It would take until 1904 before it was made another serious attempt to break the resistance. The journey of captain Van Daalen by the Gajo, Alas and Batak, made to many illusions of the resistance in the interior of North Sumatra early end. With a wave of violence two hundred military police pulled over five months through the jungles of North Sumatra. The military police also were not listed in the area of sovereign priest, but he was like in 1883. The expedition Hendrikus Colijn, who later became Prime Minister of the Netherlands, was a new attempt late in 1904. Even when there was no contact with the priest frost.

Collection World Foundation, Tropen Museum Amsterdam, collection FW Stammeshaus

Letter from Si Raja Singa Manga, which reigns over the Batak, addressed to Mr ‘superior general, leader of the war of the Kompanie.

“The letter is addressed to you because you have war is captured in the land of the Batak and my subjects. But I have also received words of the great lord of Medan and resident of Tampanoeli (Batak area) and Checker, they say no to war will wage against me and the one I reign over.
Do all stakeholders given a letter that there is peace and I will wage a war against the Kompanie. I now say to the ‘superior general, “you back, and do not turn to me and one I reign over into war. It’s not lawful to me and my people bother. Return, otherwise you violate the regeles the words of peace and agreement, made with the resident of Medan.
And if there are complaints about my subjects, aim to me. My subjects do not want any trouble.
Return, otherwise you violate the regeles the words of peace and agreement, made with the resident of Medan.
So be it.
November 3, 1904 ‘

In subsequent years several small expeditions were made to trace the priest prince, but to no avail. On March 1, 1907 Assistant Resident of Batak called on the government. The unrest, which brought the elusive prince priest with him, had to quickly be brought to an end. His call ushered literally: ” The extraordinary situation demands therefore extraordinary measures Tyde actual verwydering all undesirable elements and the provision of some big military police under a proven leader eg the captain Christopher, must be left to whom much mogelyk the vrye hand … ..” .

Six weeks later, Captain Christopher, a seasoned military police officer who had visited some of the Batak already during the tour of captain Van Daalen in 1904, with four brigades trooper seeking the shelter of Si Singamangaraja. The four military police brigades commanded by Christopher were more than two and a half month expedition before reaching their goal, the shelter priest prince had bereikt.Het was a grueling journey across the rugged highlands and jungles of central Sumatra. On April 24, 1907 was one of the brigades contact with the ‘gang’ in Lintong. In addition, the Ambonese trooper Lohij according to Royal Decree of March 7, 1908, No 55 “showed great courage, many policies, diligence and dedication to duty.” Through his performance was, Ompoe Boli of Lintong Raja, arrested the father of the main opposition leader Ompoe Babiat and made the eldest son of the priest prince Sutan Nagari, ‘harmless’. It rifle M95 was captured.

Adranoes Lohij had volunteered to Saparoea in 1896 by Dutch colonial army. Twelve years later the trooper was richly decorated including the bronze medal for humanitarian Assistance, and the Military William Order. The last and highest award he received for his share of detecting and making Si Singamangaraja harmless on 24 April and 17 June 1907. His military career was not unscathed. He hit several times wounded by klewanghouwen and interest young-stabbing to hand, arm, chest, thigh and knee. Lohij died in 1914 at the age of 38 years.

Captain Hans Christoffel. Photo: Museum collection Bronbeek

John Rotikan reported in Manado, the same year as Lohij, at Dutch East Indies Army. He also made a few years as part of the military police corps and was like Lohij by the Aceh war has become a hardened soldier. On June 17, 1907, while the attack on the hiding place of Si Singamangaraja near Pea Raja, Rotikan, Lohij and 2 other marechaussees gave chase on the fleeing Si Singamangaraja. In the ravine priest prince is overtaken and surrounded by four military police and shot. Rotikan was a year later was appointed Knight of the Military Order of William 4 e class by Royal Decree of March 7, 1908, No. 55. ” Being distinguished in military operations in the residence Tapanoeli, mainly in the first half of 1907.   June 17, 1907 o decay of a refuge of Si Singamangaradja near Pea Raja. Seem to give extraordinary courage by the priest prince Si Singamangaradja using three other military policemen to encircle, undaunted to stand when the monarch unexpectedly attacked him with a young racing and shoot them this calm. “

 This story is very similar to the quotes from the diary of First Lieutenant JH Of Taming that the expedition experienced in 1907 as deputy commander. He describes how the military police catch the priest frost and surround. In addition, the front trooper shouts Tarok-income young Tarok-income young or young taroeh runs. He orders to lay down their interest young. But the priest prince shall not put them down, he cries Djangan passang do not shoot. The priest frost seems at the moment to get his income young unsheathed.

Photo collection Universiteitsbiliotheek Leiden, KITLV 81624

Of Taming actually describes almost the same as the entry in the register of the Military Order of William, acting in self-defense. However, there is a second version of the story which, like quotes from Temmen included in the Journal of the Royal Dutch Geographical Society in 1944. This second version is the eldest daughter of Si Singamangaraja, Rinsan. She was like her father beaten in the flight when the raid began. She walked a few yards to her father until she heard the order to stand. She looked around and realized that this command was not meant for her, but for her father. She heard her father say “ahu Si Singa Mangaraja” either I’m Si Singamangaraja.Een trooper called “tarik-income young tarik-income young” or pull your gun out, pull your gun out. Her father still repeated “ahu Si Singa Mangaraja”. Then they only heard banging and shouting. Then she hurried back, she saw a soldier with a long mustache patted her lifeless father. They did not understand that her father, who wanted to surrender was shot anyway. The bodies of Si Singamangaraja and his two young sons were brought to the market Balige and exhibited, so that the people could see that their ruler was killed and the Resistance was futile.

Photo collection Universiteitsbiliotheek Leiden, KITLV 81623

The two versions are at right angles opposite to each other; it was self-defense or the priest prince was ‘down’. A term that was commonly used in switching off resistance leaders during the Aceh War. The deployment of Captain Christopher for this “job” does the latter conjecture. However, this richly decorated military has burned all his personal notes and rest only another official story.

A number of things can be at least as remarkable considering
the appointment of two military policemen Knight of the Military William Order, which were essentially linked to the fall of the eldest son of Si Singamangaraja, the siege and fall of Si Singamangaraja was to to this day unknown. In addition, according to the entry of the register the Priest frost was enclosed by a total of 4 marechaussees, which is not to be found in the publications.

In the article “The fall of the Si Singamangaraja” is a photo published in the Journal of the Royal Dutch Geographical Society 1944. This was made available from the collection of WKH Ypes, marked photograph 6. The photo was taken after the fall of the priest frost. The old woman in the rattan chair, the mother of the priest prince, right and left are her principal women and the rest of his immediate family. In the background of the military corps trooper.

A nearly identical picture from the collection WKH Ypes, which is published by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society in 1944, has an interesting detail. There is a military that set the available and published photo is not. The military is Adranoes Lohij, one of the two named knights. It is also notable that there are no (known) officers in the picture, “only” a European lieutenant, standing in the back row without hat.

One can think of many hypotheses about the true circumstances of the death of the priest frost. The only real witnesses never be able to tell their story in public or perhaps better said should never tell it. Even in the famous Atjeh- and gendarmerie post the death of the mystic priest frost is no longer mentioned. It suggests that the whole affair had to be quickly forgotten. The government was very dissatisfied with the outcome of Captain Christopher. As the North Nieuwsblad wrote on June 22, 1907: ” Now Manga Singa Raja was killed, one need not break the head with the role, which would be conferred on him.”

Si Singamangaraja received a presidential discreet title Pahlawan Nasional Indonesia or hero of Indonesia.

Previously published:

The blog of John Klein Nagelvoort – A collection of stories from our colonial past:

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One Response to “De mysterieuze dood van een priestervorst”

  1. Michael Meeuwis
    February 16th, 2017 @ 4:03 pm

    Heel mooie & boeiende bijdrage.
    Zeker de moeite om eens te gaan kijken: Het Museum aan de Stroom van Antwerpen ( heeft een knappe collectie persoonlijke wapens en andere voorwerpen van Si Singamangaraja, door Christoffel buitgemaakt.

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