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Rescued, but not freed

19.05.2020 - 20.06.2021

Survivors of the Shoah in Schleswig-Holstein

Schleswig-Holstein in the early summer of 1945. The war is over. It has left deep marks in the country, the towns and the people. Nothing has remained like it used to be. This is particularly true for a small number of people who had been persecuted as Jews by the National Socialists. They are rescued from camps, death marches and hideouts after many years of worry and dread. However, they are still far from being able to live a life of freedom. They are often seriously ill, still live in camps or under conditions of poverty. Nobody welcomes them with open arms. Nobody feels responsible for them. Nobody is interested in their stories.

They all hope for a new beginning, hope to see their friends and relatives again and hope for justice. However, these hopes are frequently bitterly disillusioned. Therefore, remaining in Germany did not come into question for most of these people. They wished to leave as fast as possible. But that wasn’t at all easy. Several of them waited for many years for an opportunity to emigrate.

Those of them who remained in Schleswig-Holstein had to struggle. Struggle for daily existence, for “compensation”, against the common antisemitism clearly manifested everywhere, against the National Socialists who were integrated again everywhere with open arms in Schleswig-Holstein during the post-war years.

We tell the stories from the perspective of the few survivors in Schleswig-Holstein for the first time 75 years after the end of the war. For this, we have researched various archives throughout Germany and private collections. We show pictures, documents and to-date unknown life histories and which cannot to be found in any history books in this form. They are hard to believe, outrageous and moving. The commitment and support of many people has enabled us to shed some light on a period full of contradictions.

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Schleswig-Holstein State Museums
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