A house in Maastricht’s Moluccan quarter has been vandalised and sprayed with graffiti to try to deter the city council from placing a Dutch family there.
Fixtures inside the empty property on Diederik van Havertstraat were damaged and the windows were sprayed with the message: ‘This is the Moluccan district. Only Moluccans here.’ The exterior of the house was pelted with eggs.
Local broadcaster 1Limburg said the house may have been targeted in response to a letter circulating in the Moluccan community that said housing association Woonpunt was planning to let the house to a family from a different ethnic group.
‘This is happening among other things to drive up rents to the point where the average Moluccan family, with or without children, can no longer afford them,’ the letter claimed.
Woonpunt said it had an agreement with the residents’ committee in the Moluccan district that members of the community had priority when a house became available ‘provided they meet the criteria on the composition of their household and income’, but other families would be considered if no Moluccans applied.
It is not the first time Moluccan communities have reacted strongly to attempts to house families from other backgrounds in their neighbourhoods. In 2014 a family had to move out of a house in Hoogeveen, Drenthe, when it was sprayed with slogans saying ‘Moluccans only, Moluccan neighbourhood.’
The Moluccans were brought to the the Netherlands in the wake of the Indonesian independence wars, after the Netherlands could not guarantee them the free state they had promised in return for military support. Many were housed in camps when they first arrived, including the former Nazi transit camp at Westerbork.
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