November 3, 2011

Monument of Pieter Erberveld

This monument was erected in 1722 along Jl. Pangeran Jayakarta to remember Pieter Erberveid. It was demolished during the Japanese occupation and the inscription was moved to the museum. In 1970 a replica of the monument was installed on the original site at Jl. Pangeran Jayakarta, but in 1986 it had to be removed to make place for a car showroom. It is now in Museum Taman Prasasti. The showroom surely cannont be succesful view of the curse expressed by the inspiration !

The "terrorist" Pieter Erberveld
Pieter Erberveld was the son of a wealthy German and his Siamese wife. He belonged to the large group known as Indos, as the Eurasians were called. He had close connections with the local population around Batavia and may have been in contact with the sons of Untung Suropati, who were still fighting against the VOC in East Java. After the death of his father, Pieter had the right to inherit his possesions, including lands along Jl. Pangeran Jayakarta. Governor General Zwaardecroon, however, also wanted to acquire the same land, and the ruthless Governor General may have been personally interested in disposing of Erberveld. The official version reads that Erberveld was conspiring against the Dutch together with the Javanese nobleman Raden Kartadria Erberveld hoped to become Tuan Gusti, or the "Big Lord", the head of the city and Kartadria the prince of the surrounding countryside. But their plans were betrayed to the Governor General in 1721 suspicion against Erberveld was heightened by two unexplaned events : the burning down of the shipyard, and fireworks thrown into the ammunition storage. Erberveld and his followers were arrested and tried by a court not open to the public. They were death on 22 April 1722 (which, strangely, is 8 days after the date mentioned in the inscription!)

It seems very likely that the accusations against Erberveld were fals and were motivated by the greed of high-ranking officials. Similar events may still take place today !

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