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Telling the story of my great-grandfather, Albert Schreiner. A communist who fled Nazi Germany with his family in World War II
Telling the story of my great-grandfather, Albert Schreiner. A communist who fled Nazi Germany with his family in World War II
Telling the story of my great-grandfather, Albert Schreiner. A communist who fled Nazi Germany with his family in World War II
125 backers pledged £2,595 to help bring this project to life.

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Finding Albert: illustrating a family story

£2,595

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My name is Cole Henley and I am researching my great-grandfather, Albert Schreiner - a German communist that was at the forefront of massive changes in Germany and across Europe in the first half of the twentieth century.

In December 2016 my uncle Michel died after a short struggle with cancer. The day before he died I visited him at his home in London and that evening he told me the story of how he had visiting his grandfather Albert shortly before his death in East Germany. On his visit he had promised Albert to write the story of his life. Sadly, this he never did and the baton was passed on to me. So to honour both my uncle and great-grandfather I would like to research and publish a book chronicling Albert's story alongside the story of the dramatic social and political changes of Germany and Europe during his early life. This year, 2018, marks the centenary of the November Revolution in Germany; a socialist uprising he played a major part in; and I thought this the perfect opportunity to commemorate his life.

Sketches of Albert, Ernst Thälmann, Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg
Sketches of Albert, Ernst Thälmann, Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg

I'm a lifelong fan of Graphic Novels and an aspiring illustrator so I wanted to take this opportunity to produce a graphic novel chronicling his story and showing his role in the major events that came to shape Germany, Europe and the World during the first half of the twentieth century. This is where the Kickstarter project comes in…

I want to crowd-fund a research expedition to Germany to discover more about this fascinating person - and close relative - and to help me share his story. There is some information online and I was able to carry out a brief research trip to Berlin last September but barely scratched the surface of the information that was available in the former DDR archives in Berlin. I need help returning to find out more.

Karl and Albert
Karl and Albert

So am seeking funding to go towards another research trip to Germany this Spring to cover travel and accommodation, as well as any costs for translating German archive material. It will also go towards the material costs of producing this story for the backer rewards.

This research provides the opportunity to tell a rarely told - and poorly understood - part of German history, as well as the story of a man who fought for what he believed in at a time where protectionism, nationalism and xenophobia were looming large on the horizon. In 2018 it feels like the lessons learned almost a hundred years ago are being forgotten. So now is a timely reminder and opportunity to see how these fears and dangers were faced in the past.

Sketch of Albert (aged 33)
Sketch of Albert (aged 33)

Production

Once the final artwork is produced and has been prepared, physical copies of the graphic novel will be published through Blurb. The original aim is to print 48 pages as an economy B&W trade book (21×26 cm). This may changes depending on stretch goals (see below).

Funding

The funding is broken down as follows: 

  • 15% travel
  • 10% accommodation
  • 15% translation and material costs (eg photocopying)
  • 50% production of rewards
  • 10% Kickstarter fee

Proposed Timescales

  • May 2018: Research trip to Germany
  • June and July 2018: Write-up of research and preparation of script
  • July and August 2018: Production of artwork
  • September 2018: Typesetting and Digital production
  • October 2018: send artwork to printers
  • November 2018: print and delivery to backers

Rewards

  • £1/$1/€1 Comrade - eternal thanks for your support
  • £5/$7/€6 Proletariat - digital copy of book
  • £12/$17/€14 Supporter - physical and digital copies of book
  • £25/$35/€30 Revolutionary - physical and digital copies of book and signed A4 print
  • £100/$150/€120 Hero - physical and digital copies of book, signed A4 print and original artwork from volume

EU and US costs approx. Rewards do not include shipping costs. Outside the EU backers are liable for tax and import duty for physical orders.

Stretch Goals

Should the campaign be successful enough to meet its funding target the following stretch goals will be released:

  • £2000 upgrade to Standard B&W trade book
  • £2500 postcards for all physical rewards (Supporter +)
  • £3000 increase book to 64 pages
  • £4000 Ltd edition, signed print increased to A3
  • £5000 German edition (digital only)

Video music The Green Star Planet by Lena Orsa under Creative Commons

Risks and challenges

The main risks and challenges for this project are:

1) this is a new enterprise for me and will be carried out alongside a full-time job,
2) the limitations of my German (although have been offered assistance from family and friends), and
3) delivering the project on time with an aim to commemorate the centenary of the November Revolution on 9th November 2018.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About US$ 1.28

    COMRADE

    Support the project with a big thank you!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About US$ 6

    PROLETARIAT

    A digital version of the graphic novel
    ✊✊

    Includes:
    • Digital Edition of Book
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    16 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £12 or more About $15

    SUPPORTER

    Physical and digital copies of the graphic novel
    ✊✊✊

    Includes:
    • Digital Edition of Book
    • Physical Copy of Book
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    70 backers
    £
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $32

    REVOLUTIONARY

    Above and a limited edition, signed A4 print

    ✊✊✊✊

    Includes:
    • Digital Edition of Book
    • Physical Copy of Book
    • Signed A4 Print
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 27 backers
    £
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $128

    HERO

    Above and an original piece of artwork from the Graphic Novel

    ✊✊✊✊✊

    Includes:
    • Digital Edition of Book
    • Physical Copy of Book
    • Signed A4 Print
    • Original artwork
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    £
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Funding period

- (30 days)