100 Years of Migration

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Solbuch 2

© Josef Konczak

Hiatus is a visual narrative retracing a journey my grandfather undertook, aged 17, as Germany invaded Poland. Transported from Pleszew, as a concession to his factory-owning parents, he was forced to work on V2 rocket building in the Harz Mountains, near Hanover. He escaped before the end of the war, a fugitive for a month, travelling under cover from East to West until being recaptured by Canadian Forces.

Interrogated for ten days as POW, he was drafted back into the Polish Army and sent to a camp in Scotland. In 1947 finally a free man he chose to travel to London at the age of 22. The above images display a Solbuch (a workbook) – a form of identification equivalent to a passport issued during the War.