A guide to the quest for Jan van Boeckel

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

To all of you who are just joining in the quest for Jan van Boeckel: Let me pause in my story for a moment to recapitulate where I am and what I am doing.

This September I visited Dachau in honour of my uncle who might have died there. What I learnt at Dachau inspired me to delve deeper into his story. I made my way from Dachau to Salzburg, Austria and then via some memorials of the horrific death marches to Flossenbürg concentration camp memorial in northern Bavaria. There I was confronted with my uncle’s name  – Jan van Boeckel – in the book of names which listed all the prisoners.

Unleashing a tremendous urge in me to find out exactly what brought my uncle so far away from home to this human hell, I started unearthing his story and demystifying a myth. Little did I know that this would take me on a journey to archives, researchers, gestapo lists, letters by Jan, family members, friends of Jan or their children, families who offered him shelter in dangerous times and news items about him, to name just a few.

I have now been able to reconstruct much of his journey, although some aspects remain in the shadow. The blogs I wrote jump in time, as they are based on the information that was uncovered at that moment in time. Leaving Haarlem he can be followed from the North and East of Holland to Brabant, Limburg, Liege, Ardennes, Cologne, Bayreuth, Ebrach, Nürnberg, Flossenbürg, Saal an der Donau to Dachau. A guide to this labyrinth of information is mapped out in a Timeline, where I present the blogs in the chronological order of Jan van Boeckel’s life  from 1942 onwards.

There is yet more to come…I am far from finished …

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

 

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