The temporary post office at Rijswijk (Jalan Veteran), 1947

Former Batavia/Jakarta residents will immediately recognise this characteristic building as the well-known boutique clothing store of August Savelkoul along Rijswijk 8 (now Jalan Veteran). However in February 1947 it was the temporary ‘main post office’ of Batavia/Djakarta, i.e. the post office run by the Dutch authorities. Interestingly, the original main post office along Postweg (now Jalan Pos) was since 1945 managed by the Indonesian nationalists. While the Dutch regained control over the city throughout 1946, with the assistance of the British army and Nepalese Ghurka militia, the telephone exchange on Koningsplein/Gambir and the post office on Postweg/Jalan Pos were the last two buildings under Indonesian control. Hence there was a situation between the end of 1945 and early 1947 where Indonesian stamps were issued on Postweg/Jalan Pos, and Dutch East Indies stamps on Rijswijk/Jalan Veteran. The situation of dual post offices in Batavia/Djakarta ended in July 1947 when Mr. Catalani, who was the general manager of the Dutch controlled post office and had been the Director of the main post office on Postweg/Jalan Pos since its opening in 1913 (!), moved from the temporary premises on Rijswijk 8 back to the main office on Postweg/Jalan Pos. A newspaper article from 23 July 1947 mentioned that the transition happened peacefully and that “Mr. Catalani received a warm welcome from the Indonesian personnel, of which most of them knew him as they had already worked for him before World War II”. All Indonesian personnel was allowed to stay and keep working in the post office, hence it was a smooth transition.

NV Kledingmagazijn, formerly Savelkoul

Obviously, after the transfer of sovereignty in December 1949, all post offices came again under permanent Indonesian control. Shortly after the temporary post office had closed, the premises on Rijswijk 8 became a clothing store again under the name “N.V. Kledingmagazijn, formerly Savelkoul”. August Savelkoul himself did not return as he had moved to the Netherlands because his wife had become seriously ill. The store was managed by a certain Mr. N. Stoffel, at least until 1954. In 1955 the Indonesian Transport Advisory Bureau was located in the building on what was then no longer known as Rijswijk, but Djalan Segara. Later this street became Jalan Veteran. This lovely building has been demolished, but we do not know in what year.

source: Nationaal Archief, the Netherlands