The Children from Operation Shamrock
The Children from Operation Shamrock. Historical Context, Testimonies and Fictionalized Memory Fragments
ISBN 978-3-86821-876-3, 166 S., 18 Abb., kt., € 25,00 (2020)
(Irish-German Studies, Bd. 14)
Operation Shamrock was a humanitarian initiative that placed more than 400 German children in the care of Irish families in the aftermath of the Second World War. For most participants, the roughly three-year stay in Ireland was a positive, in some cases even life-saving experience. Some children, however, suffered strongly from the separation from their families or were mistreated by their foster parents. Based on the author’s exhibition The Children from Operation Shamrock, which has travelled extensively across Germany and Ireland since 2015, this book consists of interviews with eighteen participants as well as an historical analysis of the origins, circumstances and participants of Operation Shamrock. In addition, short stories based on real incidents yet creatively transformed add an emotional dimension to the participants’ early childhood experiences of separation and loss but also affection and healing. In-depth research, interviews and short stories combined facilitate a deeper understanding of an important part of Irish-German relations and the European war and postwar experience.
Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverzeichnis (pdf)
"Monica Brandis’ recent publication The Children from Operation Shamrock is a welcome addition to a limited body of work. She describes her 2020 book as an 'unusual compilation of historical analysis, oral history interviews and creative writing'. The 18 short stories are based on details from her interviewees’ recollections so that 'the children’s experiences are more tangible and more universal at the same time, thereby offering an interpretation of the truth on a deeper level.' Through these stories, Brandis shows how creative responses to an individual’s past experiences appeal to the empathetic imagination, fostering understanding in a way that a factual account could never achieve."
Áine McGillicuddy, RTE.ie: Ireland's National Public Service Media (2021)