From Holland to Bavaria – The quest for Jan van Boeckel is the true story about a brave freedom fighter who was arrested by the Nazis and branded a Nacht und Nebel prisoner. A concept thought up by Hitler and his cronies to subdue resistance activities in occupied countries, the Nacht und Nebel decree left deep wounds in many families in the occupied territories. Resistance fighters literally disappeared without a trace into night and fog – they were secretly deported to the Reich and never heard of again.
Jan van Boeckel – my uncle – vanished without a trace and never came back home.
Traces of his journey into the unknown were discovered by various family members in the more than seventy years since Jan died. Now, I am continuing their search and weaving together all the information available.
I am following Jan van Boeckel’s footsteps, a journey I started in September 2015. This journey has taken me to archives, historical locations and people in three different countries. The progress I make is described in posts I publish on this blog. At the same time I am attempting to reconstruct his story in an offline novel, which I aim to finish in 2017.
Many people have helped in the search for Jan, and I have tracked down more clues to what he experienced than I ever imagined possible. The posts on my blog, mogromo.com, appear as my insight progresses.
The manuscript of a ‘memoir’
- The book and the proces
- A memoir that was never written
- A needle in a haystack in Brussels
- Unlocking language – Second World War research
Introduction of the quest
The Quest: Hiding and Farewell (1942 – 1943)
The Quest: Resistance (1944)
The Quest: Prisons (1944/1945)
The Quest: Flossenbürg (1945)
The Quest: Saal an der Donau (1945)
- Beautiful nature, Ugly history
- Where is Jan?
- A dire warning…
- More than expected…?
- A broken chain
- Delving the past
The Quest: Witnesses to the past
- Shadowy pilgrimage
- The End – and the Beginning
- Unravelling Fog
- If dunes could speak…
- A year of questing
- Researching Haarlem 1935-1945
And there is more to come…