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The Etobon Project

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Entries in World War II (2)


A Visit to Etobon and Struthof

September 27, 2014, I was honored to speak at the 70th commemoration of the massacre at Etobon, France. The sun shone on over 200 people gathered to remember those who were murdered by German troops at the end of World War II. The mayor, my colleague Pastor Samuel Kpoty and I were joined by students from the Etobon-Chenebier primary school and community members in honoring those who died for France.

September 29, I visited the only World War II concentration camp in France, at Struthof in Alsace. It is a sobering place that housed over 52,000 prisoners during its time. Many of the prisoners were resistance leaders from countries in Western Europe and high-level officers in the Free French Army. Most died there. Some survived and shared their testimony of their days in the death camp. Their drawings and writings are a powerful witness to systematic evil. It’s important never to forget the history of this little-known camp. Even though reliving this part of France’s history is painful, continuing to share the story means the thousands who died at Struthof did not sacrifice in vain. Translation of this history makes this story accessible to people around the world.

The monument overlooking the Struthof concentration camp


The Year of Commemorations: 100 Years After World War I, 70 Years After World War II 

2014 marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War I and 70 years since the invasion of Europe by Allied troops, resulting in the liberation of much of western Europe. Around the globe, including in places like India and New Zealand, people are remembering 1914 and 1944 through letters, diaries, photographs and newspaper articles. This is a year to remember the sacrifice and worldwide suffering resulting from those wars.

Some families have documents related to their ancestors' service in the wars that are in another language. Joe Atkinson's family, for example, had several newspaper articles and letters in French that they wanted to have translated so they could share them with future generations. Those who safeguard the memory of British Indian troops in World War II are glad to have access to the story of Commonwealth soldiers translated from French into English. Translation makes these important accounts available to new audiences and preserves history.

Does your family have letters, articles or journals from the World Wars that are in French? Would you like to have them translated into English? Contact me and I can provide you with a price and timetable for your translation. Understanding your family's history is important.