“For over five years we have been trying to locate a pre-WWII railcar, the kind used to transport Jews to the death camps during the Holocaust," states Janet Hesler, Danville Station president. Potential deals on railcars in Macedonia and Poland that we worked on fell through. Then a deal was made on an “authentic” railcar which was found last year in Moers, Germany by Claudia Korenke and Bernhard Mertens from Frankfurt, Germany.
After we received the Destination Iowa Grant in August of last year, our dreams and efforts soon became a reality. The grant was to be used for purchase, restoration, and shipping of the car to Danville, Iowa.
So, the work began…In December 2022, the railcar was moved from Moers to Duisberg, Germany, where it was refurbished by Die Schmiede, the same company that refurbished the railcar that sits in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland.”
Our railcar arrived at the Danville Station campus on August 17, 2023, after having an ocean journey to Maryland, and then a long truck ride to the Quad Cities for its first unveiling. The Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities has been instrumentally supportive of this effort to bring a railcar to Danville to enhance the Anne Frank Museum experience.
The Destination Iowa Grant does not cover the expense involved in building an exterior protective structure over the railcar to protect it from the harsh Iowa winter weather, so we have begun another fundraising campaign.
If you would like to support this project financially, please contact us by:
calling: 319-392-4577 (Heslers) or 319-392-8317 (Danville Station)
visiting: M-F 2-5 p.m. and Saturdays 10-noon
mailing: Danville Station, PO Box 304, Danville, Iowa 52623
with “railcar project” on the memo line of your check
paying online via at PayPal: email@example.com
Stay in touch with updates on the railcar project by ‘liking’ our Facebook page at “Danville Station” and by visiting our website: danvillestation.net
We appreciate so much your interest and thank you for your support!
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