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New Owner - Sven Hedin Sliding door handle mechanism broken

Hi all, I hope someone out there can advise me. I recently bought my first camper, a 1981/2 Westfalia Sven Hedin. For the first few weeks of travel my sliding door was working fine, but then suddenly, recently, the handle stopped working and the door has locked shut. From the outside the handle just pulls but with no effect. From the inside the handle flaps around like a hand on a broken wrist. it's connected to the door but limp and useless. unfortunately never having owned a camper and therefore not knowing what i'm looking for, taking off the side panel didn't reveal the problem since I don't know what it looked like when it worked well and so I have no basis for comparison. I'm in Slovakia now and I took it to a mechanic but he didn't seem interested and said it was a problem with the lock?? (translation wasn't good) he said there was nothing he could do. (honestly he could be bothered.)
I'm up for doing it myself but again i'm starting from scratch so perhaps someone can advise me. I've found a website that looks good for spares (vw heritage classic parts) but they want names of parts and serial numbers, well obviously I don't have a clue what the problem is, let alone the names of parts I need. the sven hedin manuals don't detail specific parts as far as I can tell, and I looked online for a haynes style manual that might have those 'exploded vehicle' type illustrations of every working part, complete with serial numbers, but I can't find any.
I suppose my questions would be... where do I go from here?...what can I do?... what would you do? having a campervan without a working sliding door is a really pain as any of you could imagine. many thanks for reading and much appreciation if you can help.
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