Visiting The Home of A Guru
Updated on 12/7/2016
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"My sons, Indonesian soldiers, you are not soldiers of fortune, but the ones with ideology, who are willing to struggle and to face danger for the glory of your country. Trust it and believe it, that the independence of a nation that is built upon a pile of ruins of thousands of souls and wealth of its people and nation, will never be able to be destroyed by anyone, no body!" (General Sudirman)
Bantarbarang village of Rembang Sub-District, Purbalingga Regency, Banyumas Residence witnessed the birth of little baby on Monday, 24 January 1916. His cries initiated the birth of a great character in the revolution of Indonesia. His father, Karsid Kartawiraji and Siyem, his mother, who gave birth to their children named him Sudirman. His step father, Raden Cokro Sunaryo, added 'Raden' in front of the name Sudirman.
After his formal education in Taman Siswa, he continued his study to HIK Muhammadiyah Solo. In 1934, Raden Sudirman who was active in Islamic Boy Scout Organization, Hizbul Wathon, became a headmaster in Muhammadiyah elementary school in Cilacap. Being a headmaster, he was open, was willing to listen to others' opinion and always gave solution to problems existing among teachers. Apart from being a headmaster, he also taught in Muhammadiyah Junior High School in Cilacap.
The Road to Become a General
Military career of Pak Dirman (his familiar address during the guerilla) started when he joined a training of PETA (Pembela Tanah Air / Country Defender) soldier officers in Bogor. After the training, he was then appointed a Daidancho (Commander of Daidan, equals to a battalion) in Banyumas.
Several months after the proclamation of Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945, Japanese troop was compelled by the Allied Forces to hand over the weapons to Indonesian soldiers. The unwillingness of Japan to hand over the country inventory caused them to shoot each other and took many victims from both sides. However, it did not happen in Banyumas. Thanks to the wisdom of Mr. Dirman (he was appointed the Commander of Division V/Banyumas with his title as a Major) in the meeting, there is no bloodshed in the process of weapons hand over. Due to his services and achievement, Pak Dirman who was tenacious, soft in speaking and fatherly in protecting his subordinates, was appointed as Commander of TKR (Tentara Keamanan Rakyat / People's Security Army) on 12 November 1945 and was inaugurated on 18 December 1945 by the President.
Pak Dirman was only 29 years old by that time but he was capable of being a leader who took quick decision with direct, firm follow up. He succeeded in incorporating various forces into Indonesian army, so that on 3 June 1947 he retained his General rank after TKR changed into TRI before finally it became APRI.
The road that General Sudirman took to sit in the highest position in APRI on 3 June 1947 was going through wars; from the independence war against Japan to pushing back the Allied Forces from Ambarawa (Palagan Ambarawa) to Semarang on 15 December 1945. After his position as a general, he did not just do nothing. He was carried on a sedan chair when he was ill while leading guerilla war against the Dutch troop. He set tactics for Military Aggression I and Military Aggression II at different places. This marathon travel as far as 1,000 kilometers for six months ended with the signing of Roem Royen Agreement. The Great Commander finally returned to Yogyakarta on 10 July 1949.
The History of the Guru's Home
The house located on Jalan Bintaran Wetan No.3 Yogyakarta is the house where General Sudirman used to live and it now becomes Sasmitaloka museum of the Great Commander General Sudirman. Sasmitaloka in Javanese language means the place to remember, to commemorate. This museum is the place to commemorate services and sacrifices of General Sudirman.
This building that was constructed during the Dutch Indian government in 1890 has very long history. At the early time of its foundation, this historical building was meant for a finance officer of Paku Alam VII castle, Mr Winschenk. During Japanese colony this building was vacant and the goods were confiscated. In the independence time of the Republic of Indonesia, this building was used as the camp for Tukul Company of Suharto Battalion. Since 18 December 1945 until 19 December 1948 this became official residence of General Sudirman when he became the Highest Commander of TKR. Then, during the Dutch Aggression II it was used by the Dutch colony as the Camp of IVG T Brigade and after the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia on 17 December 1949, was used as the office of Yogyakarta Military Command, then dormitory for XII Infantry Regiment and invalid people respectively. On 17 June 1968 it was used as Infantry Central Museum until it was inaugurated as the Museum of Sasmitaloka General Sudirman on 30 August 1982.
Entering Sasmitaloka museum from the north gate, visitors will see the inscription of the Great General Sudirman. In the front yard of the main building there is a monument of the Great General Sudirman. The monument is in the shape of a statue of Pak Dirman who is riding the horse with the writing on four sides as described earlier. On the northern part of the monument there is a machine gun and cannon on its southern side.
The main building has three doors in the front part and one door connecting to the hall at the back part. The main building consists of six rooms connecting one to each other. The front part is guest room. In the room where General Sudirman welcome his official guests there are six chairs and one table, one set each in the north part and the southern part. In between those two rooms there is a medal given to General Sudirman. At the back of the room, there is a living room that is located at the center of the main building that also functions as the room for guest room of General Sudirman family. In the living room there are two sets of chair and an old radio owned by General Sudirman. In the north part of the living room, visitors may enter the working room that is located in the west part connecting to the sleeping room in the east. In the working room, there are confiscated weapons and the weapons that General Sudirman used. In this room, YogYES stops a while to read the writing written by Buya Hamka about General Sudirman. In the south of the living room there is a General Sudirman's sleeping room that is adjacent to his daughters' sleeping room in the west. The hall that functions as dining room as well as the play ground where he plays and chats with his daughters is located to the east of the living room. The main building is arranged similarly to the condition when General Sudirman and his family were living there.
In the north wing of the main building there is a building with three rooms. The front room is secretarial room to keep chairs and table used by Lieutenant Colonel Sudirman when he was promoted to be the Highest Commander of TKR. Secretarial room is connected with Palagan Ambarawa room in the eastern part. In this room, there are weapons confiscated from Japanese soldiers that were used to fight against the Allied Forces in Palagan Ambarawa, and English weapons that were taken away in the war, and diorama of Palagan Ambarawa war. In the east of the room there is Panti Rapih room. There is a diorama in this room describing the room where General Sudirman was hospitalized in Panti Rapih hospital. There are also some equipments utilized during his treatment.
After seeing Panti Rapih room, visitors can see Sobo and Pacitan rooms, which are located at the eastern part of the building at the south wing of the main building. In this room there are simple weapons that they use during their guerrilla. The unity of the army and citizens was realized in their willingness to give their belongings to retain Indonesian independence. Adjacent to this room, at the west part, there is a diorama room of the guerilla. There are three dioramas picturing the commencement of the guerilla and the difficult struggle that they had to undergo to coordinate with the troops in local areas. There is also the sedan chair on which General Sudirman was carried during the guerilla. Next to it is the clothing room. One of the clothes collections that was always worn by General Sudirman is the wool mantel. In between diorama room and clothing room there is an alley on which wall hang some letters written by General Sudirman. Photographs of what General Sudirman did before guerilla until his demise and two sets of Pak Dirman's official clothes can be seen in photo and documentation room that is located at the west part of the building.
The Great Hero is Gone
17 August 1949 was a special day when the Independence Day was celebrated in Gedung Agung Yogyakarta after the return of Soekarno-Hatta from Bangka on 6 July 1949 and General Sudirman from his guerilla on 10 July 1949.
Based on the Round Table Conference on 27 December in Den Haag, Netherlands officially handed over the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia. Unfortunately, the Great General Sudirman could not see further result of his struggle. Tuberculosis virus gnawing his lungs after going in and out of forests for months finally defeated him. On 29 January 1950, the Great General died in a place provided for retired soldiers in Badakan, Magelang. He was then buried in the funeral for the patriots in Semaki, Yogyakarta.
The Great Commander is also a common human being. He has home and family to protect. Through this visualization, the museum tells more about the life of General Sudirman as a husband and father, and the highest leader in military. A general that never surrendered to colonies, even to the illness he suffered. Entering the museum seems like entering channel of time when the Great General Sudirman spent his days as a Leader.
Text R. SYAH Photography DANIEL ANTONIUS KRISTANTO
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