Guernsey Friends of Biberach

News from Biberach

Dear friends,

As we already reported during our recent visit to Guernsey, we would like very much like to invite/include a band from Guernsey with traditional musical performances for the FolkFestival on October 27.28.2023 - within the Baden-Württemberg Festival. We would be grateful if you could give us some ideas or addresses of folk singers in the island. The band should have a maximum of five musicians, possibly also only one musician and a singer. Travel expenses will be refunded and private accommodation will be arranged.

80 years ago, on 14 November 1942, the first deportees from Guernsey arrived in Biberach. We intend to commemorate this with a memorial walk from the train station to the former Lindele camp and report from memories and diaries of the former deportees. Please let us know there are memories from this occasion that you are happy to share.

In Bad Wurzach, where the most of the Jersey Deportees were interned, there is currently an exhibition, “Everyday life behind barbed wire”, with artworks from the deportees during the internment. We were invited to the opening on 16 September and were able to attend with six members from the Biberach Friends of Guernsey. From Jersey, there was a 25-member delegation with former deportees and their relatives and a group including Simon Crowcroft, the Mayor of St. Helier, MP Mary le Hegarat and with Sir Philipp and Sir William, two former Bailiffs. The exhibition shows copies of paintings, Birthday and Christmas cards and other personal documents. Unfortunately, for various reasons, it was not possible to show most of the originals from Jersey archives.

On September 15th, the day before, we were also in Bad Wurzach at a memorial service to remember the 80th anniversary of the arrival of the deportees in Wurzach Castle. I was able to talk with Judy King, who had with her a small book written by her father Gerald Robert King, "British Prisoner of War No. 329, 1942 – 1945.” He was seven years old at this time.

His daughter Judy wrote to me with the following:

‘My father taught at The Grammar School for Girls (Rosaire Avenue, St Peter Port, Guernsey) where I also went to school. He taught me both O level and A level maths! The Boys and Girls Grammar Schools then amalgamated to form The Grammar School (Footes Lane) and Dad became the Head of the Maths department. My brothers both went to Elizabeth College which was a boys only college. Your friend may have known him / our family. My brothers, Andrew and Geoffrey, are known for their musical ability and in Geoff’s case, athletics. We all sang in the The Town Church, in St Peter Port.

My father also belonged to the Guernsey Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Club (GADOC) and sang with the Guernsey Glee Singers.’

On September 26, Chris Hudson, the new Douzainier of St. Peter Port, was on a short visit in Biberach. Although he didn’t have much time, I was able to show him at where the Lager Lindele used to be and we could to see the camp model and the exhibition from 2018 which is now permanently installed there. And we visited the graves of the deportees.

Helga Reiser, Chairperson,

Biberach Friends of Guernsey

News

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