Goed is fout en fout is goed. In Groningen is alles anders
AbstractG. R. Zondergeld, ‘In Groningen everything is the other way around: it is right to be on the wrong side, and wrong to be on the right side’
In his book about the university in Groningen (1930-1950), Van Berkel wishes to treat the history of the university during that period as an autonomous process completely isolated from the economic crisis and the German occupation that were going on at the time. In his opinion, the idea of a civitas academica was utterly utopian and false, yet he himself creates a sort of civitas academica by isolating the history of the university from the general political developments as seen by the average Dutchman. In this way, he is able to defend the choice made by staff members and students to collaborate with the Germans as a realistic one, but is unable to show any understanding for those students who refused to sign the declaration of loyalty towards the Germans as he refuses to see this in the context of the Dutch resistance against the German occupation.
This review is part of the discussion forum 'Academische illusies' (K. van Berkel).
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