Podcast traces missing grandfather from Nazi-occupied Ukraine to Brookmans Park
- Credit: Archant
A musician has created a podcast tracing his family history from Brookmans Park to the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Andrew Evans, 37, started delving into his grandfather’s past after the Brexit vote in 2016, partially to find out if his ancestry made him eligible for a European passport.
His journey took him from Lemberg (now Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine) to Lisbon to London, tracing the life of his grandfather Adolph Lempert, who he never met.
Born Adolph Zuckerkandel in 1913, Andrew’s grandfather lost touch with his family after leaving his wife, Andrew’s grandmother, for another woman.
Andrew, who lives in Barnet and works as a musician and video editor at Black Cat Video, Potters Bar, said: “He was the kind of person with stories and myths and rumours about him. His family were Jewish and he survived the Holocaust by lying about his name and pretending he was Dutch. The rest of his family was killed.
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“He made it to London and served in the RAF for the rest of the war, and never spoke about his past.”
Andrew’s mum, Lynda Evans, lives in Brookmans Park, and previously had no idea about how and when her father had died. She and her son travelled to France to find out what happened to Adolph, with the details of their discovery revealed in the later episodes of the podcast.
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“While my nan was still alive he was not to be spoken of,” Andrew said. “Until recently it didn’t really feel right to look into it.
“Through a private detective I was able to find out where and when he died.”
The podcast, called ‘Unbordered’, features contributions from the RAF Museum in Hendon and from international lawyer Philippe Sands. Andrew also uncovered documents from a Belgian immigration index and The Netherlands Institute for Military History, which can be seen on the podcast’s website.
Andrew said: “I was inspired by the Serial-style podcasts - the long-form audio documentary. I was able to draw worrying parallels of fascism then vs now. I also examined my own feelings about being intrigued by and drawn to a man who didn’t always act kindly.”
To listen to Andrew’s Unbordered podcast go to https://unborderedpodcast.com/