The Rivierenbuurt was built in the twenties and thirties of the 20th century according to a plan of architect HP Berlage. Its streets are named after Dutch rivers.
Many buildings in the Rivierenbuurt had been built in the style of the Amsterdam School. The most striking building in the Rivierenbuurt is 'De Wolkenkrabber' ('The Skyscraper') at Victorieplein (Victory Square). The building, which is officially named Twaalf Verdiepingenhuis (Twelve Storey House), was built in 1930-1932 and designed by architect Staal. It was the city's first high residential tower (more than 40 meters high).
In 1946, the 3 main avenues of the neighborhood were renamed after the leaders of the allies: Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. After the invasion of Hungary in 1956 the Stalinlaan was renamed to Vrijheidslaan.
View of the Rivierenbuurt from the staircase of the 'Skyscraper'
On the east side of the Rivierenbuurt the Berlagebrug over the Amstel River has been located since 1934, which forms the connection with the eastern suburb and the Amstel Railway Station. The Canadian liberators entered Amsterdam across this bridge on May 7, 1945.At the Europaplein you can find the RAI Building and RAI Congress Centre.
The Rivierenbuurt and the persecution of the Jews
During the German occupation (1940-1945) the Jewish population of Amsterdam became victims of persecution and other measures targeted against them. At the beginning of the Second World War the Rivierenbuurt had 17,000 Jewish residents.
13,000 of them -- including Anne Frank and her family, which lived from 1933 to 1942 at the Merwedeplein in the Rivierenbuurt -- were killed in extermination camps or died in concentration camps.
Nowadays a lot of Jews still live in the Rivierenbuurt. At the Lekstraat is an Orthodox Jewish synagogue located, including a kollel.