12/03/2019 Report

Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme Elects New Board of Directors

The Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme (AIN) elected a new board of directors on November 16, 2019. The AIN is an umbrella organization which represents national associations of former prisoners of the Neuengamme concentration camp as well as their relatives and friends. The new president is Martine Letterie from the Netherlands.

The new election saw Jean-Michel Gaussot from French Amicale de Neuengamme et de ses kommandos, a son of a French prisoner, hand over the presidency to a Dutch representative: Martine Letterie, a children’s book author, a granddaughter of a Dutch prisoner and the president of Stichting Vriendenkring Neuengamme, the Dutch association of former prisoners and their relatives.

Beside Martine Letterie newly elected board members include:

Helle Vibeke Sørensen (Denmark) – vice president
Mark Van den Driessche (Belgium) – vice president
Jean-Michel Gaussot (France) – vice president
Uta Kühl (Germany) – treasurer
Kristof Van Mierop (Belgium) – general secretary

The new board of directors wants to continue promoting their goals: remembering Nazi crimes, connecting and supporting former Neuengamme prisoners and their relatives and fighting neo-Nazism and neo-fascism. President Letterie stresses the importance of the goals of Amicale which, in the present-.day situation in Europe, more important than ever: "Unfortunately these topics are again very relevant today. That is one of the reasons why I agreed to take over this position. Together with other associations of concentration camp prisoners we want to raise a voice against neo-Nazi activities and all forces which aim to undermine European stability."

The board also wants to strengthen the contact to children and grandchildren of the Neuengamme prisoners from Eastern Europe, because there are only few national associations there at the moment. However, the attempt to include more people is not merely geographical: the foundation of the Young Committee of AIN last year triggered the interest of more young people, too. "Our goal is to reach out to the third and fourth generations who want to fight for remembrance and protection of Democracy", says Martine Letterie.