Sunday, May 10

The Sunday Quote

"In Germany they came first for the Communists,
And I did not speak up because I was not a Communist,
And then they came for the trade unionists,
And I did not speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
And then they came for me
And by that time there was no one left to speak up’’

A German, Pastor Martin Niemoller, Nazi Concentration camp survivor.

This posting is dedicated to the memory of Peter Painter a 17 year old Victoria Collage School Boy from Jersey CI who was arrested one day in the summer of 1943, deported to occupied Europe along with is Father by the German Military Occupying forces. According to a French resistance survivor, interviewed in 1946, Peter died in a squalid cattle truck in his Fathers arms on a frightful railway journey to the notorious Belson Death Camp during 1944. Their 'crime' was to have listened to the BBC on a hidden Wireless, this was forbidden under Occupation Rules.
The Jersey civilian informers who provided the information to the German Military Police were exposed in an article titled: ''I accuse'' written by the then Jersey News Editor William Troy, printed in the Jersey Evening Post 64 years ago today. Peter Painter along with his father who it is assumed perished on arrival at Belson have no known grave. Lest we forget.


John S said...

Very poinient Peter, I suspect there is more to this story.

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Peter Troy said...

Thirty two Islanders were deported from Jersey for similar 'offences' as the Pointers, including Cannon Cohu of St Saviours Parish Church who did much to assist his parishioners.

It is worth noting that the notorious SS were not present in Jersey during the occupation, neither were the Gestapo - a division of the SS.

All the deportations and subsequent deaths of Islanders and the execution of one French youth were implemented by the Gehime Feld Polizei (Secret Military Police), a division of the the 'ordinary' German Army, the Wehmacht.

The myth of the SS and Gestapo in Jersey continues to this day - the horrors of the Occupation (and there were many) were carried out under the authority of first the Luftwaffa, then the Wehmacht and finally Navy senior commanders who reported directly to Hitler's HQ in Berlin. This important detail is evidence,if it is still needed, that the Facist doctrine of Nazi Germany penetrated all the structures of the German State from the mid 1930's upto the evil regime's military defeat in May '45.

Cannon Cohu's heroic deeds in the Jersey 'resistence', which he paid for with his life is unrecognized and remains, for the moment, a significant part of the untold story of Jersey's occupation. Todate there is no memorial to the heroic Reverend Gentleman.

Those that know the editor of this blog well may well sense a campaign in the makeing, they may well be right.