Wales

German street renamed after Swansea author's family

Kaethe Bosse with her daughters and Kate Bosse-Griffiths
Image caption Kaethe Bosse with her daughters and Kate Bosse-Griffiths

A street in Germany is being renamed in honour of a family persecuted by the Nazis after a Welsh book brought their story to light.

The Bosse family's story was told by Heini Gruffudd, the Welsh language winner of Wales Book of the Year 2013.

His mother, Kate Bosse-Griffiths, was of Jewish decent and fled to Swansea during the reign of the Third Reich.

The street in Wittenberg will be called Bossestrasse following Friday's ceremony.

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Media captionGerman street renamed to honour Swansea author's family

Mr Gruffudd's grandfather Paul Bosse was a prominent doctor in the town, but the family were targeted by Adolf Hitler's regime because his wife, Kaethe, had Jewish family.

Mr Bosse lost his job and Mrs Bosse died at Ravensbrück concentration camp on 16 December 1944.

The ceremony to rename the street falls on the same date and 19 family members from three generations will be there.

Mr Gruffudd said: "The renaming is way of commemorating them, and it's also a small recognition of how they suffered under the Nazi regime."

'Gesture of atonement'

Prof Dr Hans-Jurgen Grabbe of Wittenberg has been the main force behind efforts to rename the street.

He read an English translation of the book, Yr Erlid (The Persecution), and got in touch with Mr Gruffudd - and is now working on a German-language adaptation, due out in early 2017.

"I became not only interested, but moved by the story," Prof Grabbe told BBC's Cymru Fyw.

"I hit upon the idea of renaming the street - it's to remember not only the doctor [Paul Bosse] but also his wife."

According to Prof Grabbe, the vote to rename the street in the town council was "almost unanimous".

"It's a gesture of atonement," he said. "But the gesture of reconciliation from Heini and his relatives is also important."

Image caption Kaethe and Paul Bosse

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