Guernsey Friends of Biberach

76th anniversary of the liberation of Camp Lindele - social media project

This experience was so Overwhelming

The Town of Biberach commemorates the 76th anniversary of the Liberation of Camp Lindele with a Social-Media Project.

In April and at the beginning of May six very moving stories about people who had been interned or imprisonned at the time of the liberation of Camp Lindele will be available via Instagram under the hashtag #geschichtenderbefreiung (stories of liberation). These stories will also be published on Biberach’s facebook page. We want to use the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of these over a thousand people and also take this opportunity as reminder never to forget.

An initiative has been taken by a number of Memorial sites for a Social-Media Project which calls people from all over the Federal Republic to take part. The aim is for people to tell their stories of liberation from National-Socialism. Through a variety of presentations via the hashtag the initiatives and memorial sites will be made more visible. At the same time it is hoped to counter challenges directed against humanity and democracy.

Up to the main Remembrance Day of 8th May all memorial sites and initiatives which commemorate Nazi crimes are invited to take part and publish stories of liberation from Nazi camps and prisons. As a result of this The Biberach Friends of Guernsey have searched in the archives and in the Biberach Cultural Office for suitable stories about the liberation of Camp Lindele. As a short account of the history of the Camp has already been published on 11th of April, it is now possible to read these selected stories one after another.

For instance, Stephen R.  Matthews, who, as a six-year-old, had been deported together with his parents Eileen and Cecil Matthews from the Channel Island of Guernsey, remembered, with the help of his mother’s diary, how he had experienced “a wonderful stillness, as the whole experience had been so overwhelming.”

Thomas A.  Remfrey, who had come to the Camp as a six-year-old in 1942, adds: “Late that afternoon a French Officer appeared in a military vehicle and was welcomed enthusiastically when he drove around in the Camp. We were free!”

Marjorie Ashton, who had given birth to her daughter Carole on 12th April 1943 in the hospital of Biberach, wrote home on 23rd April 1945: “On the 23rd of April there was some fighting outside the Camp and the French liberated us. Just imagine our joy! Now that we are free, we can leave the Camp on our own and go for walks and picnics, which is a real treat, as we have only been able to go out accompanied by a guard. We can also do some shopping. I hope we will all be able to leave soon.”

Margaret Rose reports in her book “Beyond the Barbed Wire” that was published later:

“There was some anxiety because those interned had noticed some fighting going on outside the Camp and they wanted to be sure that they were being recognized as internees by the French. We hung all sorts of  white things on the barbed wire fence and Aunt Ol fetched the Biberach flag from my mattress, where it had been hidden. All the Germans disappeared and the French were welcomed into the Camp amid loud cheering.”

Article published in the Swabian Newspaper on Wed. 21st April 2021

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