Saturday evening 29 April 2017 the history program
Andere Tijden (Other Times)
will pay attention to the Battle of Groningen. In recent decades hardly
any attention was paid to the fierce battle in the aftermath of the
Second World War in the city and province of Groningen. In the
Netherlands, it was only the Battle of Arnhem that gained broad
publicity. One did not know better than that in the spring of 1945, the
war ended and the Netherlands was quickly liberated in the weeks
preceding 5 May 1945. Until
Stoppels was fascinated by the stories of his grandfather about the
Battle of Groningen at the young age, More and more, it became clear to
him that a bitter battle has been fought in the last weeks of April to
liberate Groningen and Delfzijl. From 2012 on, JoŽl organizes
battlefield tours and lectures with the aim of putting this battle in
the aftermath of the Second World War, with many fallen Canadians and
civilians. And one realizes that freedom is not cheap and that war can
never be again.
On Friday evening 28 april 2017 we were in a fully stocked Molenberg in Delfzijl, where the premiere took place of the documentary of the history program Andere Tijden (Other Times) about the Battle of Groningen. The evening was an initiative of The Stories of Groningen in close collaboration with the Filmliga Delfzijl. Present were the makers of Andere Tijden (Other Times), director Hein Hoffmann, editor Rob Bruins Slot and final editor Marja Bos. JoŽl Stoppels of Battlefield Tours who was closely involved in the creation of the documentary, provided an introduction to the film. Reason for the documentary The Battle of Groningen, broadcast on television on Saturday 29 April, is a conversation between the editorial program of the history program and JoŽl Stoppels from Groningen who, with his company Battlefield Tours, gives guided tours on old battlefields from the Second World War in Europe. According to Stoppels, relatively little attention is paid to the liberation of the North, while severe fights have taken place. The liberation of the city lasted four days. 43 Canadian soldiers and 110 civilians were killed. Also in the rest of the province was heavily fought. The battle for the Delfzijl Pocket, as the Canadians call the area where the German soldiers were locked in, was long-lasting, improving and demanding many victims. Only on 2 May , the German commander left his 400 men. At the battle 88 citizens, 102 Canadian and 185 German soldiers lost their lives.
The Mayor of Delfzijl Gerard Beukema opened this evening and noted that the enormous interest indicates that the war still lives among the inhabitants of Groningen and Delfzijl. Joel Stoppels started with a fascinating lecture, supported by a Powerpoint presentation about the Battle of Groningen. After that we got to see the impressive documentary of Andere Tijden (Other Times), which shows interviews with eyewitnesses and Canadian veterans. Finally, there was input from the public, including an eyewitness story about the liberation of Delfzijl.
Afterwards, further discussions could be made in the Molenberg foyer where a pop-up museum for one evening was arranged about the Battle of Groningen.
On ARS Website a photo impression of this evening.