Our Dad reads “The new clothes of the Emperor”; left to right: Luke Cecil, Dad Geert-Jan Barkhuis, Ninouchka and Clarijalke.

Family Barkhuis: period 1839 – 1969.




The University of Groningen has asked its employees to house one or more students, writes The Newspaper of the North. There is a serious shortage of sleeping places, especially for international students. The University of Groningen, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the municipality of Groningen have joined forces in the fight against the lack of decent housing for (international) students. The three parties find it wrong that many students have trouble finding shelter. That is why employees are called upon to assist in sheltering those students. The employees were asked whether they have a room or another way of living space or a bed available. “Or do you like to offer temporary accommodation to an upcoming RUG student from abroad? Sign up voluntarily, “according to the e-mail to the employees. ,,From this situation it will be easier for the student to find a definite place.” According to the initiators, an expense allowance may be asked for the place to sleep, but no rent, says the mail.

PeerdApplication form
The registration form asks for, among other things, the availability of a room / bed and any wishes. The offered sleeping places are then compared with the wishes of the searching (international) students. “We will match the offers as much as possible with the demand from students and a student (first by telephone) to contact the provider,” said the promoters. To date, around 450 extra rooms have been created for (international) students. Temporary emergency relief has also been provided. Some students can sleep in a hotel boat or so-called sleep-in tents. Despite the call, it is expected that a fairly large group of students will not be able to find accommodation, according to the newspaper.


In the morning my duty in the St Stephan Church, from 10:ooam till 01:45pm. Pierre came over to the church to pick me up. Festivities in the city (and whole country!) because it was Kingsday, the birthday of HM Willem Alexander. He visited the city of Groningen, and there was also in the evening the Kings Concert. We had a stroll in the city and visited afterwards Erik and Ineke van Bronswijk.






Today: setting out a so called Campus Walk, at the older buildings in the center of the town, and the new Zernike-complex, North-West of the city. The video shows the pictures that I took, with some relevant information between the images.



The Battle of Groningen took place during the final month of Second World War, from April 13 to 16, 1945, in the city of Groningen between a mixture of Image result for Battle of Groningen WW IIGerman soldiers, Dutch and Belgian SS troops numbering 7,000 against the entire 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, though the whole division was never in combat at any given time. There were also substantial amounts of Luftwaffe units manning flak guns in the area. Groningen was also the site of the headquarters for the Sicherheitsdienst in the North of the Netherlands. The German command structure was poor and the defenders had never exercised together.

The Canadian division, consisting of nine infantry battalions, a machine gun battalion, and a reconnaissance battalion, was battle experienced with a proportion of partially trained reinforcements. Armour from the 10th Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse) and the 9th Armoured Regiment (The British Columbia Dragoons) was used in support.

Image result for Battle of Groningen WW IIGerman objectives

German soldiers in the city were determined to keep enemy forces from German soil while their Dutch SS colleagues had reason to fear for their lives if forced to surrender. German troops also needed to control the city to cover the withdrawal of forces from Friesland to Germany and defending the Ems entrance into Germany, important because German surface vessels and U-Boats still used Emden as a port.

Allied objectives

Wary of advancing into the western Netherlands and incurring heavy casualties (as well as losses to the densely packed civilian population) at a late stage of the war (fighting in Langstraat and Betuwe showed the soldiers very favourable to the defence), the First Canadian Army instead moved northeast, supporting the flank of the British 2nd Army as they entered Germany proper.


German forces were mainly deployed in the ancient city centre shielded in part by an ancient canal. Some troops were deployed in the southern suburbs. A German pocket in the power station surrendered after the fall of the inner city. The inner city was reached on 14 April. Western approaches to the old town (Oude Stad) were blocked because the bridges over the canal were destroyed. The Herebrug bridge in the south of the old town was not destroyed, but it took a day before the Germans with machine guns were defeated in the buildings north of a circular ‘circus’ on the north side of the bridge. The Canadians managed to enter the north of the city centre, Nieuwe Stad, after two hours of fighting in the Noorderplantsoen park, which was placed where the city walls used to be in the 19th century and before. The fight in the central market square, Grote markt, was the fiercest part of the battle. There were several German machine guns in the buildings north of the square. The buildings had to be destroyed by tanks. The Nieuwe Stad was conquered, but the Canadians could not reach the Oude Stad from the north, due to fierce German resistance. The German commander surrendered on 16 April once it was clear further resistance was useless. The Canadians used armour effectively in co-operation with their infantry. Artillery support was forbidden out of fear of harming the civilian population.


The death toll included approximately 130 Germans, 43 Canadians, and 100 Dutch civilians. Some 270 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the fighting. Over 5,200 Germans surrendered (including 95 officers) and the remaining Germans (about 2,000) fled northeast, and the 2nd Division again met them in battles such as the Battle of Gruppenbuhren near Delmenhorst.


Groningen was one of the largest urban battles of the war for the Canadian Army; while Ortona was made famous by news reports referring to it as “Little Stalingrad”, Groningen involved five times as many Canadian soldiers in direct combat.

At the Municipal Cemetery Esserveld in Groningen are 16 graves of soldiers from the Commonwealth. At one location are the graves of 9 British soldiers and 1 New Zealand soldier. On the other location are the graves of 5 British soldiers and 1 New Zealand soldier.

Source: Wikipedia



Lord Mayor of Groningen struggling with stealing asylum seekers


Police in Groningen conducts research on a group of bags rolling asylum seekers in the city of Groningen. It would include a group of Moroccans. According to Mayor Peter den Oudsten thieves ruin it for other asylum seekers. It would mostly go in Groningen about Moroccan asylum seekers widely pickpocketing in the center of the university town. ,,There are carried out quite a few arrests and the town it is also analyzing the police”, said the lord mayor in the Newspaper for the North.

According to the mayor, things are well qualified. It would not only go to North Africans, also Dutch and Eastern Europeans are involved in the thefts. Den Oudsten struggling with the problem. He does not stigmatize, but also believes that the perpetrators abuse the asylum procedure. Moreover, he can not evict the perpetrators because they are still in the asylum procedure. ,,I think we should return such individuals by return mail”, said Den Oudsten. What the municipality of Groningen concerns should politicians in The Hague to ensure that the asylum procedure is shorter, so attackers can not exploit their wait to go on a rampage. The VVD party in parliament (democrats) will today ask questions during Question Time.


Groningen City Museum buys fruit bowl Bowie


The Groningen City Museum has put their hands on a design object from the collection of David Bowie. The museum bought the fruit bowl this week at the auction of the art collection of the singer by Sotheby’s. David Bowie, deceased early this year, was a great lover and collector of Memphis design. This strikingly colorful postmodern design also represents a priority in the collection of the Groningen City Museum. The City Museum building itself is an outstanding example of postmodernist architecture.

Fruit bowl
It’s the work by Courtoise Manière of Nathalie du Pasquier (1957), a fruit bowl from the series “Objects for the Electronic Age”. The fruit bowl is on display from the beginning of next year. The proceeds of the auction about 350 pieces was initially estimated at around 12 million euros. On the first day of the auction is more than double that amount was achieved.


Hyballa is pleased with point against FC Groningen


NEC Nimwegen coach Peter Hyballa Saturday could live with the draw against FC Groningen. “It was not really deserved because Groningen were the better team, ” said the coach in the Goffert stadium. “Therefore this is a very important point for us.” Was again a leading role Ferdi Kadioglu, the new darling of the Nimwegen public. “Together with Quincy, he was well-covered. For the goal of Ferdi there was a good combination of Quincy with Taiwo. Ferdi then made out well. ”

“In the last quarter we showed again that we have power, ” Hyballa continues. “That is our only certainty. The ball was not good for a long time, so I am satisfied with the draw.”


Stone through window pane bus supporters FC Groningen


A stone is thrown through the window pane of the supporters coach of FC Groningen, last Saturday after the match NEC – FC Groningen That happened at the Boetbergweg in Nimwegen, while the coach was en route from the stadium NEC to the highway A73. The stone was thrown there from the bushes. The police reported that on social media. The perpetrators no trace. When police arrived “the heroes were flown,” police said. A supporter of FC Groningen announced on Twitter that the stone nearly had hit a steward and writes about abrasions. Also, there were reportedly on social media children on the bus. To our knowledge there are no injuries in the incident. The incident gave supporters of FC Groningen next scare too many delays. NEC played Saturday night at the Goffert draw against FC Groningen. The match ended 1-1. The stone that pierced a window of the bus, has caused minor injuries to a FC Groningen steward. That NEC confirmed Sunday. The man ran his injuries by glass fragments. FC Groningen spokesman Richard Elsacker could not indicate Sunday or club action is taken. Monday will likely be clear whether FC Groningen’s declaration. The incident took place shortly after the league NEC FC Groningen (1-1). The coach was carrying about 40 passengers, including children, and was just on my way home. “We have immediately gone to the incident,” said police officer and supervisor supporters Brugt Pepper. “We have looked for possible offenders in the area, but we have not seen.” Whether the stone thrower is from the NEC camp, is not known. “I know that the culprit had to throw a large rock. Otherwise you do not get broken which double glazed windows of the bus.” The police had the perpetrator(s) of this action Sunday evening failed to find. The NEC supporters club has immediately condemned the action. The Nijmegen club leaders condemned the incident. “NEC has noted with disgust the cover withstands a supportersbus FC Groningen,” says the club’s website. “We think it’s terrible that the FC Groningen fans that have to go through. After the game is one of the two supporters coach a few kilometers from the stadium pelted with a stone while the buses were escorted by police towards the motorway. a large side window was killed and one flight attendant suffered minor injuries. the bus could not drive any further and the startled crowd collected at the police station where NEC and NEC supporters club were present. There is a replacement bus regularly and just after midnight the fans were traveling to Groningen again. “



scan_20160917-3Groningen Railway Station in the past and at present: in 1866 Groningen was connected to the national network. In the beginning there was only a sort of wooden shelter, in 1872 there was a wooden building constructed. Because Groningen as city had a military function, the railway station should easily be removed to prevent attacks of gunfire. In the same year there came more tracks from different directions to Groningen. A permanent brick building came in 1892, designed by Isaac Gosschalk in Dutch Renaissance and neo-Gothic style.

Because of a very complicated reconstruction in 1968, the railway station lost a lot of it’s “grandeur”. Between 1994 and 1999 a very extensive renovation took place and the former monumental splendor was restored, including the magnificent ceiling of the central hall.

The eldest railway station, still in use, is Valkenburg (1853) and the most recent Utrecht Vaartsche Rijn (August 22, 2016)