From left: Linda Richardson, author Mary Romney-Schaab and film-maker Stefanie Daubek.
PHILIPSBURG–Austrian filmmaker Stefanie Daubek and author Mary Romney-Schaab from New York are in St. Maarten for the presentation of the book An Afro-Caribbean in the Nazi Era: From Papiamentu to German. The true story of Lionel Romney’s wartime experiences forms the basis for a documentary that is expected to be released in 2023.
The late Lionel Romney, who hailed from St. Maarten, was Mary Romney-Schaab’s father. In the last 15 years of his life, she recorded her father’s oral history of the war years he spent as a political prisoner in Italy in various camps, until he was deported by the Germans to the infamous Mauthausen camp in Austria a year before the end of World War II.
The presentation of the book in the Government Administration Building on Friday evening will be hosted by Linda Richadrson.
In the presence of Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and members of the Council of Ministers, St. Maarten Philipsburg Jubilee Library director Glenderlin Holiday and Nilda Arduin, who wrote the foreword in the book, Romney-Schaab will tell how her father miraculously survived internment at camp Mauthausen. She will recount how his childhood years in St. Maarten, his Caribbean roots, played an important role in his survival and, after the war, starting a new life in New York.
Together with film director and producer Daubek, Romney-Schaab is currently working on the script for the documentary about her father, about which both will tell during the book presentation.
“This story itself is so incredibly voluminous that it is very hard to put it into one piece, but the main focus is to portray Lionel Romney as the incredible person he was,” said Daubek.
“He was unlucky with the events he stepped into but always was able to somehow navigate out of. This is important to be shown. For Mary’s father to be so strong, even after he knew that he was going to be sent to Mauthausen, and make it a year through this horrible camp, it is incredible. And more so, to then be freed and survive his traumas.”
Romney stayed silent about his ordeals for many years. It took his daughter 20 years of trying to get her father to talk about his wartime experiences.
The book presentation in the Government Administration Building on Pond Island starts at 7:00pm and is open to the public.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/ordeals-of-lionel-romney-to-be-narrated-in-a-documentary