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Joang 45 Building, Silent Witness of Youth Action for Freedom Fighters

Even though it has changed three functions, there is one memory of Gedong Joang 45 that has not been eroded by changes. In this building, there is a strong story of the struggle of the youth in the era of the Dutch and Japanese governments.

Sturdy building, ivory white paint is the hallmark of Gedung Joang 45. The tall pillars on the front show that this building is a Dutch heritage. The Joang 45 building was built by a Dutch architect.

The first owner was a Dutch businessman. His name is, LC Schomper. In 1939, he established the Schomper Hotel as a stopover for Dutch high officials, foreign businessmen and native officials visiting Batavia.

Located at Jalan Menteng Number 31, Central Jakarta, this historic building holds many memories of the story of the struggle of Indonesian youth during the Dutch and Japanese eras. Schomper and his family live happily in his hotel. However, their happiness ended when the Dutch East Indies unconditionally surrendered to Japan on March 8, 1942.

During the Japanese era, the assets of the Dutch were confiscated. No exception, Schomper assets. He and his family also had to enter an internment camp. Meanwhile, the Schomper Hotel, which had been confiscated by the Japanese army, was turned into a dormitory for Indonesian youth. The dormitory was named the Indonesian New Forces Dormitory.

The Japanese military allowed AM Hanafi and his colleagues to use Hotel Schomper as a dormitory in July 1942. At that time, Sukarni was appointed as the head of the hostel, Chaerul Saleh became his deputy, and AM Hanafi as general secretary.

Ganseikanbu Sedenbu or the Japanese Propaganda Agency also made Hotel Schomper a place of political education for Indonesian youth. This political education is financed by them in the hope that the youth can support the interests of Greater East Asia.

Sedenbu’s hopes were dashed. Freedom fighters such as Ir Sukarno who later became the first president of Indonesia, Drs Mohammad Hatta, Adam Malik and Chairil Saleh participated in breaking the Sedenbu front.

They are the ones who educate the youth to fight for the independence of the country. After the Indonesian New Forces Dormitory, the building was again renamed Menteng 31 Building. The youth who inhabit it are called Pemuda Menteng 31.

Since 1972, Menteng 31 Building has been designated as a historic building by the Governor of DKI Jakarta. A year later the historic building was restored to be worth a visit. After the restoration, the President of the Republic of Indonesia inaugurated the building as a museum. The building is named Gedung Joang 45. From the entrance of the Dutch architectural style, visitors can immediately read the history of the struggle of Indonesian youth to seize Indonesian independence on a documentary board displayed on the wall.

There are also photos of young Indonesian freedom fighters. Betawi traditional songs are also often played there to accompany visitors while on a tour around the museum.

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