The Quest for Jan continues …

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

This Quest is a massive project.

Someone reminded me of that this week. Yes, a huge undertaking. So huge that I hardly have time to blog.

I have now followed Jan van Boeckel’s trail for a year and two months. The amount of hours, kilometres, words, papers and gigabytes that have been invested in this Quest is absolutely staggering. But….. all the hard work, discipline and focus have resulted in a manuscript. A document that describes Jan’s journey during WWII and the search for him.

The second draft of that same manuscript is now taking shape. Although there is much which still has to be done, including rewriting, creating maps and pictures and a book cover, I am very happy with the progress.dsc_8347-01

This Quest leads me all over the place. I spent some time at the International Book Fair in Frankfurt to research the ins and outs of  self-publishing a book… Who knows, I might even start my own publishing company.

Overall, I have met, and am still meeting, countless people at every station of the journey. People who are willing  and able to support my Quest. They have assisted me in so many ways, and have at times even become friends. People from Amsterdam, Haarlem, Bloemendaal, Bemmel, Arnhem, Doorn, Leeuwaarden, The Hague, Diever, Kampen, Oisterwijk, Mechelen-Wittem, Aubel, Liège, The Ardennes, Brussels, Turpange, Ebrach, Flossenbürg, Saal, Frankfurt, Berlin, Dachau, Munich, Bamberg, Arolson – and many more.

The hours I have spent with the brittle, vulnerable, elderly people of the war generation have been wonderful and have provided me with a depth of knowing that I would not have achieved otherwise.

And yes, of course there were some moments of acute dismay. Instances in which I was forced to change how I presented the quest online, as well as moments in which I nearly put down the task I had started. But the Quest is still going strong!

One of the setbacks I faced recently, was a door that was slammed shut in my face in Bavaria:

I did not realise that concentration camps have at times become a commodity in Germany. Interviews with victims are not always made available. And, without any explanation, I have been refused access to an important interview with a key person in Jan van Boeckel’s history.

20160829_133546Can you imagine the sense of utter powerlessness that washed over me when I realised I was being refused access? I was stupefied, and than reeled with anger. I am still recovering …

But that is all part and parcel of a journey such as this one.

The good news is that I am so focussed on producing a good quality product at the end of the Quest, that I am going to postpone my self-imposed deadline for the book. The Quest for Jan van Boeckel will continue in 2017!

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

3 thoughts on “The Quest for Jan continues …

  1. You must keep going. It’s inspiring and worth it. I had a shock last week in my research on my Dads history. I was criticised heavily by a person connected to my family because I stated views that were not in her opinion balanced. Yet she was quite influenced by Communist views. The war is still a sensitive subject. There are many things we will never know.

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