AMSTERDAM PROJECT ENGLISH
Our historical Society Lastoria e.V. that cooperates with Stolperstein groups, museums and archives has started a little European memorial project: “Deutschland auf der Flucht” (Germany on the run) about the German speaking refugees in Amsterdam Zuid. One of them was Betty Bär, a woman from my homevillage in Hesse, who lived with her son Alfred in the Biesboschstraat, till they were deported. Her husband Karl had died of a heart attack in Amsterdam, her younger son Herbert went on a Kindertransport to England and became one of the “Dunera Boys”. We have visited the place in 2015 when I was working on a book series about Ober-Gleen (my homevillage) and I was touched to see the house. I tried to imagine what their life in exile might have been like, and doing further research about the street, I found many other names from Hesse, Bremen, Hamburg, Berlin, Lower Saxony, Bavaria and other parts of Germany. Now we try to contact researchers in Germany, the Nether-lands and overseas in order to connect informations and people. There is much researchwork done already but many of the results are only seen as of local, regional or personal interest. I am convinced that they are of international interest as well, not only for the families of the NS-victims, but also for Joods monument, Alemannia Judaica, museums and archives. Our hope is to collect published and not yet published informations and photos of German refugees in Amsterdam Zuid, especially in the Rivierenbuurt, and to transfer these informations to platforms where they are needed, too. And I would be happy if we could connect people in Germany, the Netherlands and other countries, researchers as well as anybody else who is interested in the life stories of the refugees. One of them was Hermann Deutschland of Bremen. His name inspired me when I looked for a working title for the project. We don’t know yet what this research might lead to, if there will be get-togethers, speeches, an exhibition or a book, written in teamwork. We are open to suggestions and we already have informations that we are willing to share, in memory of at least some of the refugees who had been in safety in the Netherlands till the Wehrmacht marched in.