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Corridor to the past

Corridor naar het verleden; Veghel, een snijpunt in oost-Brabant

F. Govers

Uitgever: De Kempen

Oral history, recorded by students of Govers’ Pedagogical Academy, based on the recollections of 1400 Veghel residents, 10% of whom were personally interviewed by the author.

These stories, often detailed and directly quoted, form the highlights of the book. The solid foundation consists of Govers’ compilation of this diverse material into a local history. Veghel takes centre stage, while the larger scene is outlined as background and backdrop.

For locals, this is undoubtedly a valuable reference book to leaf through in the evening. To outsiders, however, it can be overwhelming with its plethora of details, names, sidetracks and digressions. But within this context, the research work and methods used deserve much credit. The story begins with the rise of Veghel along the Zuid-Willemsvaart canal, mobilisation, events in May, and the wanderings of the Air Guards in Veghel during a chaotic flight. It then describes the palpable occupation, the fate of the small Jewish community, the threat of the Arbeitseinsatz and the Air Protection Service. The resistance, which often creates a delicate balance of reputations, is also covered. Finally, the liberation is discussed, which literally fell from the sky on 17 September 1944, followed by fierce fighting to keep the ‘corridor’ to Nijmegen open, despite fierce German resistance.