ROTTERDAM - A group of hundreds of Rotterdam has the Afrikaanderwijk turned against dozens of Turks. Several hotels have been emptied by the angry crowd and the furniture is thrown on the street. The police had to solve warning shots to restore order.

The building was empty, because earlier in the day had already been riots. What remained was a complete street furniture, of beds, refrigerators and clothes. The sanitation department had to bear in order to clean up the mess, De Telegraaf.

Pension Holder

The immediate reason for the escalation of violence, was a fight and stabbing at the guest house at the Good Hope Street.

The guest house owner claimed that he was still arrears of a mother with three children. According to the Rotterdam would guesthouse owner several times refused the rent to persuade her to be his girlfriend, writes the Free People.

The woman wanted to move, but the movers were on board Owner Mehmet G. not inside. During the brawl that started then walked three movers stab wounds. They are transferred to the Clara Hospital.

popular fury

Shortly after the bomb exploded. Hundreds of local residents attacked the Turkish men. Car Mehmet G. was overturned and stones went through the window of the guest.

The few officers who were trying to restore order shots in the air, but that hardly helped.

A few hours later it was hit again. Local residents called the guesthouse inside and threw all the furniture in the guest out, such as a color television, and mattresses. The residents of the guesthouse had fled to the roof and tried from there to bombard the attackers tiles.

The police did again not much.

"There was no start. If we had taken action at that time, would have led to much greater difficulties. We prefer to talk and try to mediate the matter to soothe as much as possible. "

(Superintendent Brook, Rotterdam police, Telegraph, 11-08-1972).

Later in the evening was stormed a second pension. Also, damage was done here. A Turkish man, which had remained, had to be rescued by police.

Also killed a Turkish bar and the windows of a Moroccan butcher. Homes where families live Turkish, were left alone.

leaflets were hung in two buildings with the text: 'Rent only Hollanders'. In Paarl Street signs were hung on the street name signs with painted 'Dutch Street'.

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No surprise

For many residents of the 'old quarters' in Rotterdam is the explosion of violence no surprise. Two months ago, Mayor Thomassen got a letter from the district organ Afrikaanderbuurt about the "tension between the 'real Rotterdam' and the foreign workers'.

In recent months there have always been small incidents in parts of the city, like the Old West, but so intense tonight if it was not yet. In Crooswijk was warned of excesses. A year ago it was already once out of control in the Oleanderstraat in Afrikaanderwijk.

"It's the church's fault", says one of the residents at a camera crew of reporter Jaap van Meekeren. "They have the inns here cluttered. That pension bosses have all the properties purchased here and cluttered with 50 tot 60 mensen. And thus, the impoverished neighborhood. "

That "is Turks' man against something he denies. “Ik heb niets tegen Turken, but people can no longer normal this evening on street. Young girls are being harassed by the Turkish pensions. "

However, it appears some of the residents fret properly to their Turkish neighbors. "The Turk is a man without moral", says a father of seven children. "I prefer dealing with a Spaniard or a Negro or a Chinese. There is not a Chinese one has ever been true for benefit. For help each other. But these guys do not. "


Alderman Jettinghof was also present in the Afrikaanderwijk. He said the municipality is looking all summer for a solution. "But our power is very limited in this area."

Yet more can be done and should also happen.

"How long do we have to use more strictly the law at the expense of human lives? The current emergency in Afrikaanderwijk breaks every law. It would be more evident for the government in The Hague, that this is an emergency situation if indeed we dare break those laws. "

(councilor Rizenkamp, Labor in the Free People, 11-08-1972)

Also from the corner of the guest workers themselves is determined that in some parts of the city are too many foreign workers. Nelly Soetens of the Action Committee Pro Foreign workers therefore proposes to close some pensions.

"I admit that this is a problem, but morally you are required for these people to start building. attract industries them, they should also take care of housing and other social measures. Otherwise you have no foreigners get here ",

(Nel Soetens, Pro Foreign workers, Vrije Volk 11-08-1972)

Or the peace has now returned to the area is not clear. The anger among residents seem not satisfied yet and fear among Turkish guest worker is large. Police in Rotterdam is wary.

Hoe ging het verder?

The next night they did it again and even more violent than the night before. Several hotels were stormed and ransacked, this time in the area Wapenstraat.

The rioters are coming from outside Rotterdam. The residents themselves distancing themselves from the riots.

The mobile unit acts now well and are 72 people arrested. Several Turkish and Moroccan guest workers injured.

Only after a few days of calm has been restored in the Afrikaanderwijk.


The municipality will be forced to face the facts. The situation in some areas is the large number of foreign workers completely out of hand.

The Rotterdam City Council sets a maximum from 5 foreigners percent per quarter. That decision is later annulled by the Council of State.

The squatted house in Paarl Street was finally assigned to a Dutch family.

Race riots

Numerous experts have examined in recent years about whether "there is now talk of race riots or not?’

Against RTV Rijnmond said researcher Feico Houweling that he thinks there is no race riots and that it has nothing to do with ethnicity. He points out that it is rather a protest against the policy of the municipality.


RTV Rijnmond – Canon of Forgotten Stories – De rellen in de Afrikaanderwijk

Wikipedia – Rellen in de Afrikaanderwijk

city ​​Archives – Rellen in de Afrikaanderwijk

The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 10-08-1972, p. 1

The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 11-08-1972, p. 1

The Telegraph“. Amsterdam, 11-08-1972, p. 1

TVNZ“. Rotterdam, 11-08-1972, p. 1

The free people : democratic-socialist newspaper“. Rotterdam, 12-08-1972, p. 3

Text: Dave Datema coop Maarten Timmer

published: 01 oktober 2017

story number: 16