A guest from Argentina at the Sybir Memorial Museum - Muzeum Pamięci Sybiru

18 July 2023

A guest from Argentina at the Sybir Memorial Museum

Dan Lande, the creator of the initiative entitled “La Ruta de las Bobes”, visited the Sybir Memorial Museum.

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On Monday, the the Sybir Memorial Museum hosted Dan Lande — the creator of the initiative La Ruta de las Bobes (In the Footsteps of Grandmothers and Grandparents), a project about searching for family roots, memory, as well as links between Poland, South America and Siberia.

La Ruta de las Bobes (In the Footsteps of Grandmothers and Grandparents) is an initiative aimed at commemorating and recreating the history of people, who emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe to Argentina, Uruguay or Paraguay and never returned to their hometowns. It is a journey through the European cities from which the generation of Dan Lande’s grandparents — the author — and other people, who want to take part in the project, left.

Dan Lande’s family history is inextricably linked with Poland, Siberia, and thus with the Sybir Memorial Museum:

— All my grandparents were Polish. Two of them came to Argentina in the interwar period, fleeing Europe from hunger and poverty. Two survived the Holocaust. They were sent to Siberia and spent the war as prisoners in gulags. They never wanted to talk about their lives in Europe. They never returned to Poland. Many grandmothers and grandfathers, who emigrated from Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Poland experienced similar stories — says the author of the project.

Plates… became a way to learn about the family history and commemorate the loved ones:

— On February 21, 2019, I accidentally broke five plates that belonged to my grandmother and had been in my family for over 70 years. It was a drama for me. That night I couldn’t sleep until an idea came to my mind: visit the cities where my grandparents came from, take a piece of each broken plate to each city, write a message on it and leave it as a memorial plaque — says Dan Lande.

Dan Lande decided to expand the project beyond his family as well. He researches the stories and commemorates the ancestors of people, who send him messages from all over the world:

— “I explore, I find a way to this forgotten alley. In this way, together with other grandchildren and granddaughters, we reconstruct individual pieces of the puzzle. I come to the city, I am the link between the past and the present, through the eyes of the whole family, seeing for the first time where their story was born. I walk the streets, looking for traces. I get a plate, break it, paint it, choose a place for a monument and pay homage.

During the visit to the Museum, our guest got acquainted with the ongoing educational projects. We hope to establish cooperation on joint activities soon.

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