As a young internee, the art teacher drew in Bonstetten barracks. Because of him, a commemorative plaque in the municipality now recalls the local history during the Second World War.
The telephone call at the beginning of 2019 delighted and annoyed Rolf Werner in equal measure. The art teacher Arno Stern, known for his Closlieus, asked him at the time whether he was the village chronicler of Bonstetten.
“I was with you in the Jewish labour camp for two years during the Second World War,” Stern said,
“No one in the community knows anything about the camp. You maybe?” At the age of 95, he wanted to come to terms with this part of his life story and was looking for memories.
That’s when Rolf Werner also remembered. That he had stumbled across the “Polish camp” twice during his reappraisal of Bonstetten’s past 200 years. He had even noted it in his notes, but had not gone into it further – hence the annoyance. The 74-year-old road construction engineer knew nothing about the location, the background, let alone the inmates. Arno Stern’s phone call was to change that. Werner was curious to explore a dark chapter in the history of his home community of Bonstetten.
Watch the SRF reportage: