ICE archaeologist launches new exhibition highlighting Nazi victims in the Channel Islands | Institute of Continuing Education skip to content

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Produced in collaboration with ICE's Academic Director for Archaeology, Dr Gilly Carr, 'On British Soil: Victims of Nazi Persecution in the Channel Islands' runs until 9 February 2018 at the Wiener Library, London.

Thousands of people, including slave labourers, political prisoners and Jews, were persecuted during the German occupation of the Channel Islands in the Second World War, between 1940 and 1945.

Their stories, however, remain largely untold and are often 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', launched today at the Wiener Library for the Study of Holocaust and Genocide, London seeks to highlight these stories. The exhibition draws upon the Library’s wealth of archival material, recently-released files from the National Archives, personal items belonging to the victims themselves and current research from Dr Gilly Carr.

Gilly said: "I am thrilled to see this exhibition of people who were long-marginalised in memory, and excluded from national war narratives, now told in the capital. For anyone who wants to come and learn about the last untold story of the German occupation of the Channel Islands, this is the exhibition to visit."

From the experiences of a young Jewish woman living quietly on a farm in Guernsey 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 German prison camp remained unknown to his family for over 70 years, the exhibition highlights the lives of the persecuted, and the post-war struggle to obtain recognition of their suffering.

The exhibition runs until 9 February 2018 and is produced with the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Gilly adds: "The search for further stories still continues. The exhibition coincides with the launching of a new website, www.frankfallaarchive.org, which is dedicated to finding and reconstructing the full journey of all deported Channel Islanders through various Nazi prisons and concentration camps."

Frank Falla, the Guernseyman after whom the archive is named, was a former prisoner and survivor of Frankfurt am Main-Preungesheim and Naumburg (Saale) prisons.

In the mid-1960s, Frank took it upon himself to help his fellow former political prisoners in the Channel Islands get compensation for their suffering in Nazi prisons and camps.

In 2010, Frank’s daughter gave Gilly her father's extensive archives – the most important resistance archives to ever come out of the Channel Islands – and the project was born.

Gilly concludes: "We're interested in hearing from anyone in the Channel Islands or further afield who had a family member sent to a Nazi prison or concentration camp to help supplement the journeys we have reconstructed from archival materials. Please contact us via the website with photos, documents and stories. We'd love to hear from you."

Contact Dr Gilly Carr: gcc20@cam.ac.uk

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