Leubus 1942

My grandmother wrote an account on their time in Silesia, I will transcribe it at some point and hopefully translate it also at some point …

Kohlenkolonne in Leubus
and in the middle with the white shirt is my grandfather

The first place my father and his parents were brought to was Leubus Abbey, a former Cistercian monastery in Leubus (now Lubiąż), the living quarters were squalid and as my father said, all he remembers from that time was that he was very sick and that everything was terrible there …

The need of a beginning.

How to I start a project, how do I give it a proper introduction?
Where do I begin?

For a couple of months now I have been busy with something that has been occupying my thoughts for years now, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Last year I worked on a project about my mother called “Layers of time”, a title I had used before once for a little photo book, and certainly for more then one picture I took in the last 10 years … I decided to keep this title for this site / blog to document a new work in process, a project about my father.
Or rather about one aspect of my fathers life that profoundly marked his personality and that has repercussions until this day, a story he shares with many others and that in the light of current events is as relevant as ever.

When he was just 5 years old, in 1942, he, his brother and his parents were deported by the Nazis form their native city of Ettelbruck in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to a part of Germany called Niederschlesien, a region that become a part of Poland after the second world war. They were deported because the Nazis wanted them to become Germans, and because they were obviously and openly not willing to do so … they had to leave everything behind and were transported by freight trains to Schlesien, to live and work there under strict supervision … in squalid, cramped and improvised “camps” installed in old, often formerly abandoned buildings …

I will write more about this deportation program in a separate post and link to relevant websites.
What interests me beside the entire historical part is what this forced migration and living in such circumstances did to my father, his family and how this traumatic experience can still influence his behavior up to this day … and maybe even the behavior and personality of his children …



Leubus 1942
from left to right: my grandfather, my uncle Marco, my father and my grandmother