20 towns in 18 months: Thanks to funding from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah, our #StolenMemory traveling exhibition is also touring France and telling stories about the fates of ten victims of National Socialism until the end of 2024.
The Arolsen Archives still hold the last personal possessions of some 2500 concentration camp prisoners. The #StolenMemory traveling exhibition helps us search for the families of these persecuted people in order to return the keepsakes the Nazis stole from them. The exhibition shows pictures of these objects and tells the moving life stories of their former owners. At the same time, it invites visitors to volunteer and join in the search for the families.
On June 27, Caroline Ferrrari, Secrétaire Générale adjointe of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Florence Berthout, Mayor of the 5th arrondissement of Paris, and Floriane Azoulay, Director of the Arolsen Archives, opened the exhibition in front of the Panthéon in Paris. The three speakers emphasized the importance of the impetus provided by the exhibition, which promotes remembrance of the victims while encouraging people to get involved.
"We hope that #StolenMemory will attract as many visitors as possible, especially young people, at each stage of its tour through France." Caroline Ferrari
Tour in France
After its launch in Paris, the traveling exhibition will make a six-week stop in front of the Mémorial de l’internement et de la déportation in Compiègne starting July 15. The place could not be more appropriate: The Compiègne-Royallieu transit camp was a way station for all the people deported from France whose personal belongings are stored in the Arolsen Archives. From there, the National Socialists sent them on to the Neuengamme or Dachau concentration camps.
In the fall of 2023, the exhibition will stop at Mayenne, Blois, Joigny, and Sarreguemines. All exhibition dates can be found on the website. To reach as many people as possible, we work with local partners on the ground. Some slots for 2024 are still available. Interested communities, associations, or schools are welcome to contact us !
The tour in France is sponsored by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah and is free of charge for the local partners.
#Searching for… A pair of lovers
Since the campaign began, we have found over 750 families around the world – more than 120 of them in France. Some search cases from France have yet to be solved. One such case is the mysterious story of a young Frenchman. His first name was Jean, and he may have lived near Paris.
“For my Jean, receive sweetest kisses from the one who loves you and who waits for you, your little Jeannou.” Words of love written on the back of a photo. We do not know who Jean and Jeannou are. All we know is that the Nazis deported the young man to a concentration camp. We are hopeful that the exhibition can help solve the mystery if someone is able to recognize the people in the photographs. Then Jean and Jeannou’s story might come to light, and the proof of their love could find its way back to their relatives.