On 23 April 1942, Coenraad Rood, a 25 year-old Jewish tailor, receives a request to be examined for a work camp. In the early morning of 25 April he leaves his wife Bep and departs from Amsterdam to camp Conrad, near Rouveen (Overijssel).

It was the beginning of a horrible three-year journey during which he was dragged from camp to camp in the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland. Rood finally returned to the Netherlands more dead than alive and was reunited with his wife. In 1960 he immigrated to the United States with his family. Coenraad Rood set himself the task of revealing what happened during the Holocaust. A promise that he made to his dead camp comrades: whoever survives has to report so that we will never forget. He gave talks at American schools. His main message was: “Don’t hate. And watch out because looking down on someone is the beginning of hate!”



Shortly after liberation, at the request of RIOD (now NIOD), Rood recorded his memories of his brutal journey through the camps. In their standard works about WWII, Lou de Jong and Jacques Presser both made use of Rood’s sober account. In the 1950’s a part of Rood’s manuscript was published with the title Westerbork. In 2002 his testimony was published by Fisher Verlag in Germany with the title Wenn ich es nicht erzählen kann, muss ich weinen. Als Zwangsarbeiter der Rüstingsindustrie. The complete work was published in 2011 with the title Onze dagen. Herinneringen aan de Jodenvervolging [Our days. Memories of the persecution of the Jews]. In October of that year, Anet Bleich wrote in the Volkskrant: “… the contrast between Rood’s sober-mindedness and his descriptions of the inconceivable depths to which people can sink as a result of calculated cruelty causes an enormous shock.”


In 2009 the Overijssel Historical Center decided to let Coenraad Rood’s story be filmed. This came about because of a webcam interview with Rood during an educational exhibition about camp Conrad. The story of the 92-year-old man made a deep impression on those present. The next day Mr. Rood sent the following email: “After the conversation I thought of all the things I still wanted to say, but that’s my natural reaction. I trust that you won’t abandon me.” The Overijssel Historical Center made financial means available, and early in 2010 the film was shot in the home of Coen Rood in Texas. In all 25 hours of material were filmed. Rood’s account was expressive and detailed, and his mind was sharp. His sober narrative style causes his listeners/viewers not to turn away easily from the atrocities.


Coenraad Rood died on October 1, 2011, at the age of 94, one day before his book Onze dagen [Our days] was published. Until his death Rood kept the promise that he made to his camp comrades. Our mission is to take up this promise and to make his oral testimony available to a larger public.  It is important that people continue to pay attention to Coenraad Rood’s story – from a historical perspective so that we don’t forget. But also because each one of us, young and old, can come to face choices similar to those that people faced 70 years ago. And looking down on another person is the beginning of hate.


The information shown on this website has been put together with care and attention and is intended for general information. No rights can be derived from the information on this website. The story of Coenraad Rood is a personal testimony; nevertheless it is possible that the informative texts next to the fragments on the website are incomplete and/or incorrect.

We would appreciate it if any inaccuracies in the texts would be brought to our attention.

We have done our best to retrieve possible copyright on information and/or images. However, it is possible that there are rights that lie with others. In that case we ask you to inform us about it.


For more information you can contact BigSense Producties.

Mobile number - 06 40323327. Or send an email to


Produced by
Historisch Centrum Overijssel
Filming and editing
BigSense Producties
Directed by
Micheline van Dijk
Design website
Allard Medema
Jan-Roelof de Vries
Website development
Idea and director animation
Geertjan Lassche
Animation design
Ferdinand Harteveld
Sound design animation
Jan Kooiker
Historisch Centrum Overijssel
Carolus Clusius College, Jolanda Bosch
Translation website
Jeannette K. Ringold
VSI Translation & Subtitling Amsterdam
Jannie Rood
H.C.S. Warendorf
S. Wennek
Brigitte Axster
Ingrid Wolbers
A.J.M. van Dijk
M. Medema – Drijver
C. Barzelay
Beaumont Communicatie en Management 
Evonik Industries AG
Andrea Hohmeyer
Special thanks to
Josepha Rood
Magdalena Rood
Bert de Vries
Lida van Tilburg
Patricia Bosboom
Sicko van Dijk
Lieke van Nood
Ronald Medema
G.J. Westhoff
Willem van Norel
Felix Axster
Guido Abuys - Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork
Puck Huitsing - NIOD
Harco Gijsbers - NIOD
Lonnie Stegink - Joods Historisch Museum
Cathelijne van der Heijden
Anne van den Hul - Bitterberg
Jan en Margreet Hylkema
Klaes Hylkema
Jantsje Hylkema
In Memoriam
Coenraad Rood
Amsterdam 1917 – Longview Texas 2011
Elisabeth (Bep) Rood ((Kooperberg)
Geertruidenberg 1914 – Longview Texas 1962
Hartog Aaron Rood
Amsterdam 1875 – Amsterdam 1940
Marianna Rood (Vogel)
Amsterdam 1881 – Auschwitz 1942
Aaron Rood
Amsterdam 1912 – Auschwitz 1942
Maria Noordanus (Rood)
Amsterdam 1914 – Lelystad 1989
Jonas Rood
Amsterdam 1919 – Sobibor 1943
Machiel Rood
Amsterdam 1921 – Auschwitz 1942
Elisabeth Rood
Amsterdam 1926 – Auschwitz 1942
Levie Hijman
Amsterdam 1864 - Sobibor 1943
Salomon Hijman
Amsterdam 1884 - Auschwitz 1942
Naatje Stodel
Amsterdam 1886 - Sobibor 1943
Rachel Hijman
Amsterdam 1909 - Sobibor 1943
Samuel Pach
Amsterdam 1907 - Sobibor 1943
Frieda Hijman
Amsterdam 1921 - Auschwitz 1942
Engeltje Hijman
Amsterdam 1888 - Auschwitz 1943
Henri Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1888 - Sobibor 1943
Simon Hijman
Amsterdam 1890 - Auschwitz 1943
Judith de Jong
Alkmaar 1895 - Auschwitz 1943
Elsje Hijman
Zaandam 1917 - Sobibor 1943
Levie Salomon Hijman
Zaandam 1918 - Auschwitz 1942
Flora Hijman
Amsterdam 1929 - Auschwitz 1943
Tobias Hijman
Amsterdam 1892 - Fräncke 1943
Anna Lelie
Amsterdam 1892 - Sobibor 1943
Louis Hijman
Amsterdam 1916 - Auschwitz 1942
Abraham Hijman
Amsterdam 1921 - Midden-Europa 1944
Rozette Hijman
Amsterdam 1927 - Sobibor 1943
Alida Hijman
Amsterdam 1898 - Auschwitz 1943
Samson Koopman
Amsterdam 1898 - Auschwitz 1944
Emanuel Koopman
Amsterdam 1921 - Auschwitz 1944
Louis Koopman
Amsterdam 1929 - Sobibor 1943
Izak Koopman
Haarlem 1931 - Sobibor 1943
Benjamin Hijman
Amsterdam 1900 - Midden-Europa 1944
Marianne Kool
Amsterdam 1901 - Auschwitz 1942
Roza Hijman
Amsterdam 1923 - Sobibor 1943
Nathan Park
Amsterdam 1919 - Sobibor 1943
Elias Hijman
Amsterdam 1925 - Auschwitz 1942
Liesje Hijman
Amsterdam 1930 - Auschwitz 1942
Engeltje Hijman
Haarlem 1933 - Auschwitz 1942
Stella Hijman
Amsterdam 1935 - Auschwitz 1942
Henriette Hijman
Amsterdam 1903 - Sobibor 1943
David Coppenhagen
Amsterdam 1902 - Sobibor 1943
Duifje Johanna Coppenhagen
Amsterdam 1926 - Auschwitz 1942
Louis André Coppenhagen
Amsterdam 1938 - Sobibor 1943
Mathilda Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1912 - Auschwitz 1944
Levie Wennek
Amsterdam 1904 - Polen 1944
Rachel Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1914 - Birkenau 1944
Philip Arons
Amsterdam 1912 - Sobibor 1943
Esther Estella Arons
Amsterdam 1935 - Sobibor 1943
Samuel Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1884 - Auschwitz 1942
Judith Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1886 - Sobibor 1943
Samuel de Jong
Amsterdam 1903 - Sobibor 1943
Marianne Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1896 - Sobibor 1943
Elisabeth Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1899 - Auschwitz 1942
Abraham Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1891 - Sobibor 1943
Mietje Polak
Leeuwarden 1889 - Sobibor 1943
Hendrina Kattenburg
Rotterdam 1922 - Auschwitz 1942
Andries Hijman Kattenburg
Rotterdam 1926 - Sobibor 1943
Mozes Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1894 - Sobibor 1943
Carolina Seraphina Straus
Wisch 1896 - Sobibor 1943
André Leo Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1926 - Sobibor 1943
Frieda Mathilde Kattenburg
Amsterdam 1932 - Sobibor 1943
Samuel Wennek
Amsterdam 1879 - Sobibor 1943
Marianne Schenkkan
Amsterdam 1881 - Sobibor 1943
Hartog Coppenhagen
Amsterdam 1890 - Sobibor 1943
Heintje Swaab
Amsterdam 1890 - Sobibor 1943
Rachel Klijnkramer
Amsterdam 1916 - Auschwitz 1943
Leendert Samuel Wennik
Amsterdam 1902 - Auschwitz 1944