substudY "WORLD WAR ii"
A Jewish bookseller/publisher in Arnhem, NL, 1942
- T.W.M. van Berkel -

Nederlandse versie

Translation of an article, originally published in: In Europa Atlas, VPRO, Hilversum.

Bookstore Hijman & Arends, Arnhem, NL, 2009
Bookstore Hijman & Arends

Trade mark

Next to the entrance of bookstore Hijman & Arends at Grote Oord 15 in Arnhem, NL, the oldest independent bookstore in Arnhem, a memorial tablet in a white recess refers to the eventful history of this bookstore and the former owners. On this memorial tablet, the trade mark of the former bookstore Hijman, Stenfert Kroese & Van der Zande NV is depicted, designed in 1920 by the graphic artist Jan van Krimpen: a menorah, the seven-bracket Jewish candle, in an orange field with around the trade mark the device Het Schoone Kennen Veredelt De Ziel (tr.: fine knowledge refines the soul). This device was made by the author Jan Greshoff, who used the initials of the company's name. Van Krimpen situated these initials above the brackets of the menorah.
Hijman, Stenfert Kroese & Van der Zande NV was founded in 1919, when the Arnhem bookseller Simon Hijman Jzn. made an amalgation with bookstore Stenfert Kroese & Van der Zande. In his quality as a publisher, Hijman advocated contemporary literature. In 1921, he published the first volume of the 21-volume series Palladium, in which in small, carefully produced books the most beautiful texts were published of the young generation of authors like Adriaan Roland Holst and Greshoff. In 1925, he published the Geschiedenis der Nederlandse letterkunde uit, a publication which for decades was the leading Dutch literary guide.
Hijman, Stenfert Kroese & Van der Zande NV, seated in Arnhem at the Koningstraat 64, became a “plaats van ontmoetingen” (tr.: meeting point) of art, culture, literature and science. Hijman owned one of the biggest Dutch collections of bibliographies. The collection of the Arnhemsche Leesbibliotheek which he had taken over, containing a.o. the complete works of Dickens, Goethe and Shakespeare, was replenished year after year with novels and children's books and contained by the years also the oeuvre of the young generation of authors. 

Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn...
Voorspellingen die 
uitgekomen zijn...

On May 26, 1941, Hijman, Stenfert Kroese & Van der Zande NV was confiscated by the Germans. The store became a branch of the (national-socialist) Volksche Uitgeverij Westland. Hijman and his son Rudolf Julius, both director, were fired. The employees, who were told that resigning would be explained as sabotage and be punished as such, hided Hijman's book collections in the attic of the store at the Koningstraat, as well as books which the Germans did not appreciate.
In 1941, Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn, Michel Nostradamus spreekt in 1558 over het verloop en den uitslag van dezen oorlog, a non-dated, illustrated brochure of 102 pages was published under the banner of Hijman, Stenfert Kroese en Van de (sic) Zande NV Arnhem. Unlike the books, previously published by Hijman, Stenfert Kroese & Van der Zande NV, the menorah trade mark was not printed in Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn... 
Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn...
carried the author's name A. de Tombre. Actually, it was a translation of a national-socialist propagandistic text, written or finished between June and December 1941 by the German philologist dr. phil. Alexander Max Centgraf, who in January 1945 in his quality as a volunteer at the Antikomintern was decorated for this brochure with the merital cross. According to Centgraf, a former reverend who in 1934 in his church in Schlieben had placed a glass-stained window to remember the victory of the NSDAP in 1933, the word Hadrie in the predictions of Nostradamus was an anagram with the initials of Hitler (the letters H-A) and a reference to Germany and Italy, the Axis-powers (the letters A-D-R-I-E = Adriatic Sea). In Voorspellingen die uitgekomen zijn..., Centgraf told his readers that according to Nostradamus the Jews would be expelled from Europe, communism would fall in 1944 and that there would be a New Order in Europe, lead by Germany. The Netherlands would have its place in this new world order. In a number of newspapers, among which De Gelderlander, the curiosity of the readers was aroused by faked announcements in which, referring to the authorities, was told that the publication of this brochure was legal, despite rumours which implied the opposite.
Against Hijman and his wife, who went into hiding, a warrant of arrest was issued on December 17, 1942. Due to treason, they were arrested in their hiding place, a farm in Lathum, on August 1, 1944, and transferred to Westerbork. On September 3, 1944, they were deported to Auschwitz, where they died on September 6, 1944.

Hijman & Arends: Plaats van ontmoetingen
Hijman & Arends: 
"Plaats van ontmoetingen"

After the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944, the evacuated centre of Arnhem became subject of plundering. Hijman's book stock and his collections could not be brought to a safer place. On April 30, 1945, by unknown cause, the bookstore at the Koningstraat was completely gutted. The books and the company's inventory were destroyed.
With the aid of the city of Arnhem, Rudolf Julius Hijman, who survived the war, resumed the activities of Hijman, Stenfert Kroese & Van der Zande NV on September 30, 1945, at Grote Oord 15, a former grocery. In the course of the years, Grote Oord 15 became a meeting point of culture and literature like in the old days the store at the Koningstraat. Until 1970, Rudolf Julius Hijman owned the company; from 1970 to 1982, the company was owned by G.F.P.M. van der Hoeven and from 1982 to 2006 by Wim Dorman. InThe publishing activities were ceased in 1974. The bookstore was continued, carrying the name Hijman Boeken and was renamed Boekhandel Hijman & Arends, after Everhard Arends, owner of Arends Boek en Kantoor, took over the company in April 2006. The bookstore was renovated and once again became a store in the grand manner. The phrase plaats van ontmoetingen was placed above the entrance to one of the book rooms, next to the information desk. 
Various authors frequently are present in Hijman & Arends. They give lectures and sign their books.

Centgraf, deceased in 1970, did not dissociate himself of his national-socialist, propagandistic activities. Using the author's pseudonym dr. N. Alexander Centurio, he continued to publish on Nostradamus, sometimes using the discoveries and explanations which originated from World War II.


De Meern, 12 december 2008
T.W.M. van Berkel


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