Barneveld (Low Saxon: Barreveld) is a village in the Dutch
province of Gelderland and also the capital of the municipality of
Barneveld of the same name, known in the middle of the Netherlands
for its poultry breeding and trade and as a strongly Protestant
In 2020 the village had 34,800 inhabitants, who are called Barnevelders. The Barneveldse Beek flows through the south of Barneveld.
Barneveld has existed as a church village since 1333.
It is thought that the place already existed in the 12th century
because a text from 1174 mentions a Wolfram van Barneveld. The place
fulfills a market function in the Gelderse Vallei, but has never
been elevated to a city. In the 17th and 18th century Barneveld was
an important junction in the network of Hessenwegen. The name
Barneveld may be an old name or a corruption of the name Bronveld.
Another possible origin of the name is Amber field. Another possible
explanation: the word "barnen" meant "burning". In the past,
(building) land was often cleared by burning down a piece of forest.
Barneveld is located in / near the former Nederwoud. The name
indicates it: a forest area. In that region many field names still
occur with "fire", which indicates extraction by burning. Barneveld
could therefore also have arisen on a field created by burning
Barneveld has also become famous for the account of the Kabeljauw rider leader Jan van Schaffelaar, who jumped from the tower besieged by Hoeken on 16 July 1482. A statue of him has stood on Torenplein since 1903. Huize De Schaffelaar and the adjacent Schaffelaarse bos, east of the village, are named after him. Since June 2009, the theater (Schaffelaartheater) in Barneveld has also been named after Jan van Schaffelaar.
After the Reformation, the Protestant Barnevelders expelled the last Catholic priest from their village, and he then settled in Achterveld, just across the border from the province of Utrecht, making this village a Catholic enclave in an otherwise Protestant region (Amersfoort and the Veluwe). From Achterveld the priest could still reach his parishioners in Barneveld on foot.
Barneveld was located on the Grebbelinie and therefore suffered greatly from the violence of war at the beginning and the end of World War II. The population was evacuated by the German attack in May 1940, as was the livestock. Most people had to go to Lunteren.
Thanks to the initiative of Secretary-General Frederiks (Interior) (Frederiks plan), at the end of 1942, two places to stay in the municipality of Barneveld became available for the reception of approximately 700 Jewish Dutch nationals, who would be safeguarded from their "merits for Dutch society". deportation. This concerned castle "De Schaffelaar" and house "De Biezen". The German occupier did not keep this promise either. At the end of September 1943, the Jews from Barneveld had to go to Camp Westerbork and from there to Theresienstadt. There, dozens of them died. Some of the others were released in February 1945 during an exchange and transferred to Switzerland. In 1987, a monument by artist Ralph Prins was placed at the driveway of De Schaffelaar, in memory of the internment of the "Barneveld group". On April 16, 1945, the Canadians liberated the village.