The Spanish Civil War (1936-39)
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© Cor Faber en Ellen Bijma
Historical research I have been involved in historical research since 2012. To begin with, of course, the research needed to write the first novel, Journey to the Spanish Civil War. Contacts as far as Poland, Spain, but also in countries such as France and England, were all very helpful. Also studies that were necessary for our other novels, La Batuta and the novel we have now started, Fernando. A few years ago Jeanette from Rolde came forward. She had found papers showing that she was related to one Fedde Alberts. Fedde had volunteered to fight against Franco in Spain in 1938 with the International Brigades. Her grandfather was a first cousin of this Fedde. Through research I came into contact with Fedde's grandson, also named Fedde after his grandfather. He turned out to live three blocks from Jeanette and they didn't know they were related. So from then on. Nice consequences of an investigation. By chance I came into contact with the granddaughter of one Pim Kerklaan. He too had gone to Spain to fight Franco. She could tell me a lot and also show me things. A welcome addition to all my files. Memorial Center Former Camp Westerbork has a project called Westerbork Portraits. On that website they try to tell as many stories as possible of people who were transported via that camp to extermination camps in Poland and Germany. For them I was allowed to do research and write portraits of a number of those people, including Levie Kurk . For a European organization in Prague, the PEMC , I did similar studies and portraits. They were about clergymen who became victims of the terror of the German occupier during the Second World War. Among them were Frits van Evert and Wim Tunderman . Click on their names to read more about them. At the time, at least 650 Dutchmen went to Spain to volunteer in the International Brigades. Worldwide, 40-45,000 people did (the exact number is still unknown). I have done research on them in various contexts with various people. Including the aforementioned Fedde Alberts. I also did that for the historical society in Emmen. They wanted to know more about the volunteers from the Emmen area. That was about Arend Haak, Hendrikus Hofman, Johannes de Jonge and Wolter Wolters. There is a Dutch website that contains many people from the Netherlands. That overview will never be complete because names are still popping up. You can find that website here . In Spain, the University in Barcelona is doing the same under the name SIDBRINT . They collect the data of everyone from every country.
Fedde Alberts
Pim Kerklaan
Arend Haak
Wolter Wolters