Exhibition co-curated by Dr Gilly Carr opens at The Wiener Library
“Everything that people thought they knew about the German occupation of the Channel Islands is – at best – partial and – at worst – inaccurate,” explains co-curator and Fellow of St Catharine's College Dr. Gilly Carr on the motivation for a new exhibition at The Wiener Library.
During the German occupation of the Channel Islands 1940-1945, many thousands of people were persecuted, including slave labourers, political prisoners and Jews. Their story has been largely omitted from a British narrative of ‘standing alone’ against Nazism and celebrations of British victory over Germany. On British Soil – Victims of Nazi Persecution in the Channel Islands tells the stories of these persecuted, drawing upon The Wiener Library’s rich archival collections, files recently released by The National Archives, and never seen before items from the personal collections of victims of Nazi persecution.
Dr. Carr commented, “I have fought for many years to bring these victim groups to a wider audience, [and] the search for further stories still continues. The exhibition coincides with the launching of a new website, which is dedicated to finding and reconstructing the full journey of all deported Channel Islanders through various Nazi prisons and concentration camps. Theirs is the last untold story of the German occupation of the Channel Islands.” "
From the experiences of a young Jewish woman living quietly on a farm in Jersey and later deported to Auschwitz, to those of a Spanish forced labourer in Alderney, and the story of a man from Guernsey whose death in a Nazi prison remained unknown to his family for over 70 years, this exhibition highlights the lives of the persecuted and the post-war struggle to obtain recognition for their suffering.
The exhibition will run from 19 October until 9 February 2018 and is produced with the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Admission is free.