Dr Gilly Carr awarded German grant for her work with victims of Nazi persecution
Dr Gilly Carr, University Senior Lecturer and Academic Director in Archaeology at ICE, has been awarded 50,000 Euros by the EVZ Foundation for her research on Channel Islander victims of Nazi persecution. The EVZ Foundation (Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zunkuft – Remembrance, Responsibility, Future) was set up to support projects on victims of Nazism.
Although the funding will cover Gilly’s research expenses and outreach activities for three years, and will pay for research assistants in Jersey, Guernsey and Berlin, the funding that Gilly has received will primarily be used to build a sophisticated website on which will be uploaded the testimonies written by islanders in the 1960s to get compensation from the German government.
These islanders had been sent to Nazi prisons and concentration camps for acts of resistance against the German occupying forces in the Channel Islands between 1940 and 1945. They represent a key group of British citizens who experienced these institutions and have been largely forgotten outside the Channel Islands.
Gilly has collected around 100 testimonies out of the c.250 islanders deported to prisons and camps, and will supplement these records with public and private archival and family documents from Jersey, Guernsey, the UK and across Germany. These will be cross-referenced with camp and prison records, maps and photographs to build up an online picture of the experience of islanders in their journeys across Europe as they were moved between prisons and camps, often in chains or in cattle trucks.
This project, which will take three years, will be supplemented by a book. Gilly has a contract with Bloomsbury Academic to write Testimonies of Nazi Persecution from the Channel Islands: A Legitimate Heritage? This book will build upon an earlier monograph, published in 2014, entitled Protest, Defiance and Resistance in the Channel Islands, which was co-authored by Paul Sanders and Louise Willmot.
Over the last few years, Gilly has carried out much heritage and memory-related work in the Channel Islands with victim groups of Nazi persecution, such as excavating a forced labour camp; giving public lectures on Holocaust Memorial Day; curating exhibitions on those deported from the islands to civilian internment camps; and designing a Resistance Trail. She has also campaigned for memorials to be erected to people who died in Nazi prisons and camps.
Gilly is extremely excited to have received this funding and is looking forward to continuing her research in this field and raising awareness about the plight of these Channel Islanders, to make sure that their experience is integrated into what is known of British experiences of the Holocaust.