Musician traces his European roots in the wake of Brexit vote to find out if he qualifies for EU passport
PUBLISHED: 16:51 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:20 06 August 2019
A musician created a podcast to trace his family’s European roots in the wake of the Brexit vote.
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Andrew Evans, who is 37 and from Hertfordshire, started delving into his grandfather's past to find out if he was eligible for a European passport.
His journey took him from Lemburg (now Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine), to Lisbon, London and France, tracing the life of Adolph Lempert, the grandfather he never knew.
Andrew said: "I am very pro-European and I volunteered for the Remain campaign. As soon as the vote came in I started seriously thinking about whether I could qualify for an EU passport.
"It became a bigger story because I found out all this stuff I never knew before."
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, 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.
"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 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, eventually locating his grave.
Andrew said: "We had done some research to find out where he was buried in Nice. When we got to the cemetery we found out he'd been buried in 1992 but exhumed in the year 2000 and moved to Marseille." French regulations restrict how long a body is allowed to stay in a grave without someone paying. When Andrew and his mum went to Marseille, they found he had been buried in a family tomb belonging to the Marelle family.
After Adolph died his wife remarried a man named René Marelle, and the family had allowed him to be buried in their plot.
Despite his grandfather's European routes, Andrew did not find he was eligible for a European passport as Adolph had become a naturalised British citizen.
Andrew's podcast, called Unbordered, features contributions from the RAF Museum in Hendon and from International Lawyer Philippe Sands. He also uncovered documents from a Belgian immigration index and The Netherlands Institute for Military History, which can be seen on the podcast's website.
He said: "A lot of the research I have done into fascism in the 30s has worrying parallels with Trump in America.
"There's a rise of populism that's happening now which is quite similar."
- To listen to the podcast go to unborderedpodcast.com.
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