Stolpersteine, or “Stumbling Stones,” are concrete memorial blocks, with an engraved brass plate on the top, which are then laid into the pavement in front of the last chosen places of residence of victims of the Nazi regime. The ceremony for Old Edmundian Andreas Frohlich and his family took place at Prins Hendriklaan, Amsterdam, the house where Andreas was taken by the Dutch Gestapo, who were working for the Nazi’s in 1941. It was an extremely moving ceremony with family & friends flying in from all over the world. Relatives of some of the people who bravely hid the Frohlich family during the war, were also in attendance and Nikki and Melanie felt truly honoured to be invited.
Raised as a Catholic and thinking of becoming a Priest, Andreas attended St Edmunds in the summer of 1939 as a pre-seminarian (Andreas and his sister Sabine were unaware of his Jewish heritage until he was not allowed to join the popular Hitler Youth). Concerned that they would be unsafe if they stayed in England, Andreas’ parents requested that he returned to Amsterdam. Tragically, it was this decision which cost Andreas his life, as in June 1941, he was discovered at the house in Prins Hendriklaan and taken away along with another three hundred boys of Jewish & mixed Jewish ancestry. Transported to the brutal Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Andreas managed to write two heavily censored letters to his family, and it was clear at this point that Andreas knew his fate. The name Frohlich was on a Dutch list of ‘deportees’ with a date of death of 28th October 1941 – two weeks after Andreas’ 20th birthday.
College Role of Honour
Contact was made with the Frohlich-Schipper family following some detective work by the college and Andreas’ name was added to our Roll of Honour, which for the family was an extremely meaningful gesture as his sister Sabine believed it both commemorated and validated her brothers too short existence. The family kindly funded the new war memorial which was erected in 2013.
There are also several of Andreas’ personal items in the display cabinets in the Ambulacrum including his notebook and rosary beads which the Frohlich family entrusted to the College for safe keeping. In the leather-bound notebook, Andreas reflects on his circumstances as he travels to England to join the College. It also contains some goodwill messages from some of his classmates in Douglass House. Some pages have been removed and it is thought so that they would not be incriminating if the notebook fell into enemy hands.
In 2016, the Headmaster Paulo Duran commissioned playwright David Gooderson, to write a play based on the story of Andreas and his sister. The play was called 'Quarry' and was performed in the Douay Hall. Paulo and Melanie flew to the US to interview Sabine Frohlich and her Husband Cor, and a recording of Sabine, in her ninety’s at the time and living in the USA, recalling the fateful words she spoke to the Dutch Gestapo when they came looking for Andreas – “His bike is here”. The family never saw him again.
Sabine’s Odyssey by Agnes Schipper
We have just taken delivery of the recently published book written by Agnes Schipper, Sabine’s Daughter and Andreas’ Niece, which details the harrowing experiences of the Froehlich family during the Nazi regime and mentions the College and his time here. Should anyone wish to purchase a copy and support Agnes, you can do so here:
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"A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.” More...