“Everything that people thought they knew about the German occupation of the Channel Islands is – at best – partial and – at worst – inaccurate,” explains co-curator Dr. Gilly Carr on the motivation for a new exhibition at The Wiener Library.
During the German occupation of the Channel Islands 1940-1945, many thousands of people were persecuted, including slave labourers, political prisoners and Jews. Their story has been largely 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 tells the stories of these persecuted, drawing upon The Wiener Library’s rich archival collections, files recently released by The National Archives, and never seen before items from the personal collections of victims of Nazi persecution.
From the experiences of a young Jewish woman living quietly on a farm in Jersey 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 Nazi prison remained unknown to his family for over 70 years, this exhibition highlights the lives of the persecuted and the post-war struggle to obtain recognition for their suffering.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Tuesdays: 10 am – 7:30pm
Produced in collaboration with Dr. Gilly Carr of Cambridge University, and with the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
1) Hedwig Bercu © Jersey Archives
2) © John Dalmau, Slave Worker in the Channel Islands (1956), Wiener Library Collections