An extract from B.T.v.P. notes about the Armenian

Graveyard at the Johannes berg Semarang. (The upper part of the scan.)

1815: The return of the Dutch to Java.

1822: The appeal for help from the Dutch to Agha Hovsep.

1825-1830: The Java War.

1825-1826: The second Russo-Iranian war.


Inspite of the common distrust of the Dutch against the Armenians in Indonesia, the family members of Agha Hovsep and other Armenians did not scruple to volunteer in the Dutch Army showing their loyalty and risking their life. !!! (Which could not be noticed at the Dutch citizens itself. Check the list at the bottom of the page.)



The war between the European Allies and France ended in 1815, Napoleon was banned and Holland became free again.


However, Holland was almost in a state of bankcruptcy. Being a province of France for 5 years, the country lost lots of cash in order to contribute the French. The Dutch Indies were occupied by the English, so there was a huge lack of cash and income from that part of the world too.


Besides: Local kings and local residents of Indonesia awoke slowly from colonial repression and the colonial administration got into financial troubles.

The taxsystem was imperfect; corruption was all around and accordingly the Administration was creating several possibilities to built up the state's cash flow and reserves and Agha Hovsep watched it all and noticed his chances.


Agha Hovsep was rewarded in 1820 till 1826 with the Wholesale contract of Producing, Expediting, Sale and Distribution of Opium: All in one..... India ( I do not know if the mills were his) was producing, his ships were expediting and his warehouses were storage places and almost every government employee involved in port operations and activities, was either stupid and sleepy or corrupt.(*Editor's note: Armen Joseph: One day Agha Hovsep was driving from Semarang town and picked up the Governor who was on his way to some place. The carriage seats space were fully loaded with non-declared opium just being unloaded from the ship and the carriage passed the customs and none was visited by the customs, because the Governor was inside the carriage.)


Agha Hovsep became one of the most richest men of this part of the world; he raised billions and billions.


More and more the Java War was nearing and the Dutch Indies Army had to spend money to prepare itself and to built fortifications in Mid Java, as the specter of war came from the sultanate of Jogja.

But there was no money.... so in 1822 the Administration visited Agha Hovsep and requested a loan covered by state securities/debentures amounting to 930.000 guilders. (And in addition Agha Hovsep was rewarded by more farmland at lucrative purchase prices.... Don't pay me interest, just give me land which is useless in your eyes. All clay I touch shall turn into gold. And most shaming of all: The Dutch never paid back their debts ....)


The Java War started in 1825 and the Dutch Indies Army faced lots of troubles before they gained victory. Only by use of treason, they succeeded 1830 in capturing the leader of the rebellions against the Dutch. (Pangeran Dipanegara = Prince Dipanagera, nowadays a National Indonesia Hero.)



Editor's note:

1) Martherus, Andreas and Soekias were related Armenian familymembers of the Johannes family.

2) Mind: In this list only 2 Dutch volunteered.!!!

3) Number 4 on the list: Theodore Herwig was an uncle of Anna Johannes. He was the brother of her mother and died 1834 at Solo.