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Back on the scene

Oude vrouw en kinderen, concentratiekamp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bundesarchiv Bild 183-74237-004

Terug van weggeweest – Getuigenissen over en uit joods Groningen in de jaren dertig en veertig plus razzia-lijsten met 3064 namen

Johan van Gelder
Publisher: Van Gorcum, 1993
ISBN: 9789080146518

Publicist Johan van Gelder came into possession of the original German raid lists used to round up Groningen Jews. The municipality of Groningen had an important part in compiling the lists, as did the national government.
Groningen, like many municipalities, was purged of its Jewish inhabitants. Without a fight, most of its Jewish inhabitants were expelled for good during the Second World War.

In ‘Back from Away’, survivors in the Netherlands, Israel and the United States – who returned due to a curious coincidence – as well as non-Jews testify about Jewish Groningen with an emphasis on the 1930s and 1940s. Those years were so characteristic because, on the one hand, there was a thriving Jewish community, which also had its problems – which, on the other, was destroyed by a reign of terror in a relatively short time.


In this oral history Van Gelder hears the stories of the people themselves. Letting former Groningers who lived through it tell their stories. Van Gelder went to the people with his tape recorder and typed out and edited all their stories.