Showerroom building Flossenbürg

Confronting tough truths

This is an episode in “the quest for Jan van Boeckel: From Holland to Bavaria” .

Later on I learnt that my uncle was indeed listed as NN, a ‘Nacht und Nebel’ prisoner, who would disappear into darkness and mist, never to be heard of again. In the case of the resistance fighter Jan van Boeckel they greatly succeeded. He is still a missing person. This storyline is my attempt to sabotage their succes.

Flossenbürg Headquarters: We knocked on the door of the archives and asked for the person who’s name we had been given by someone at the former SS-casino on the hill. I explained that I was hoping to find some information on my missing uncle Jan van Boeckel, who I had found listed in the Flossenbürg book of names . And although I later read that one should make an appointment beforehand, we were immediately welcomed and excellently helped.

Then came the items which made the tragedy of Jan very real. I received a number of lists from the archive, and this is what I learnt:Gestapo Nurnberg-Furth

Jan van Boeckel was transferred from the Gestapo at Nürnberg-Fürth to Flossenbürg, close to the Czechoslovakian border, on the third of February 1945. Personal effects cardHe had to sign a personal effects card, which listed his belongings, including 3 shirts, 4 pairs of socks, shoes, a coat and a pair of trousers. There were also 15 Dutch guilders and 1 French franc, but on 12 February 1945 these were marked as having been given to the ‘Geldverwaltung’.

He was registered as prisoner number 45131. There was no cross behind his name, as he did not die at Flossenbürg itself. Jan was transported to a subcamp of Flossenbürg, code name ‘Ring-me’ on 15 February 1945. Registration FlossenburgAs I wrote in an earlier post about Dachau , The main concentration camps had many satellite camps. Ring-me was one of the more than 100 Flossenburg subcamps. This was a subcamp where Messerschmitt was hoping to build aeroplanes in tunnels. Ring stood for ‘Ringberg’ and me for Messerschmitt. The tunnels had to be made by slave labour, in other words by prisoners who the Nazis categorized as Jews, political prisoners or prisoners of war.

Jan van BoeckelAt this point in time I have gathered information in various archives, but also through the dedicated work of former generations who searched for Jan in the forties and the sixties and have been on the lookout for new information ever since. Though I can now piece his story together, some of it remains a vulnerable truth. There are still archives to go to and questions to be asked. I will start sharing what I now know of his story in a next post.

This is an episode in “the quest for Jan van Boeckel: From Holland to Bavaria” .

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