South African history

The Transvaalbuurt (neighbourhood) is named after the South African province that was a Dutch colony in the 19th century. Many of the neighbourhood’s streets and squares are named after well-known South Africans. Paul Kruger and Andries Pretorius, for example, were leaders of South African farmers who fought for independence. The fight against Apartheid is also recognised in the neighbourhood: the Pretoriusplein (square) was renamed the Steve Bikoplein in 1982 after the anti-Apartheid fighter who died under suspicious circumstances in a South African prison in 1977.


View of façades, Kraaipanstraat

Subsidies for new housing developments

The Woningwet (housing law) was adopted in 1901. This decreed that housing associations could apply to the state for financial contributions. This gave rise to a large number of housing associations representing various social or religious groups.


Postcard, Kraaipanstraat with underpass to Schalkburgerstraat, 1924

Handwerkers Vriendenkring (Labourers’ Circle of Friends)

The 'Bouwfonds Handwerkers Vriendenkring' (Building Fund for Labourers’ Circle of Friends) together with the 'Algemene Woningbouw Vereeniging' (General Housing Association) built working class houses in the Transvaalbuurt. In practice, these houses were mostly occupied by poor Jewish workers. During the Second World War, on 20 June 1943, a large scale razzia took place in the Transvaalbuurt. About 5,000 Jewish inhabitants were removed from their houses in the neighbourhood, placed on a train at Muiderpoortstation, were transported to the transit camp at Westerbork and then on to the concentration camps. Virtually none of these people survived.


Kraaipanstraat, possibly 1920s/30s