Saturday, 25 February 2012

# 28 [16 June 2009]

I've just had a video screened at the Silent Movie Project at the Synch festival in Athens - I was one of only 23 video-artists, so wanted to attend, but it was my mother-in-law's 60th, so had to stay here.

I showed RS-A1, one of the videos I made on the beach at Argeles where there was a camp during the war. Post 4 of 11th October details the making of the footage.

The weekend was one big party, all of my wife's family attended - I had the opportunity to talk to her grandmother. She is 84, Dutch and a real character. She willingly and openly talks of her experiences during the war in occupied Holland.

We discovered a strong link between the work that her father and brother did as part of the resistance and this part of France: they helped Jewish families escape Holland who planned to head for Spain, via the Pyrenees. They guided Jews through a network of caves which led from Holland to Belgium, risked their lives and were part of the first stage of a long journey, unfortunately never knowing the outcome. Some escaped to Spain and freedom whilst others would have been caught en route in Belgium and France and probably some ended up at Rivesaltes destined for Auschwitz.

A book has been written by my wife's great uncle, Wim van Schaik about his encounters during the war - more to follow.

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