05/07/2018 Commemorative ceremony, Report

Commemoration at Bullenhuser Damm

Friday, April 20, 2018, a commemoration was held at the Bullenhuser Damm Memorial, where 73 years ago 20 children, their four caregivers, and 24 Soviet prisoners were killed by the SS. The children had been used for pseudo-medical experiments in the Neuengamme concentration camp before and were killed in order to conceal these crimes.

The about 280 guests were welcomed by Ulrike Mattern, member of the association ‘Children of the Bullenhuser Damm’. Mattern was very happy that several relatives of the murdered children joined the ceremony. They were Grete Hamburg (sister of Walter Jungleib), the nephew of Sergio De Simone and Marc-Alain Grumelin (halfbrother of Eleonora and Roman Witoński).

After the welcoming two projects about the history of the events were presented. First, Daria Filippova (volunteer of Action Reconciliation/Service for Peace) talked about her artwork, which is supposed to relate the time of WWII with today. It consists of mirrors, blanked sheets and pictures connected to the victims of Bullenhuser Damm. The second project was created by Merle Lutz and Stela Vitasová who won the Bertini-price. Their short movie shows the story of Walter Jungleib, one of the 20 children that was killed.

Thereafter Ruben Herzberg, who used to be head of the Jewish Community and the Klosterschool, held a speech. He was very thankful for the work of the association ‘Children of the Bullenhuser Damm’ and underlined the inhumanity of all Nazi crimes.

In the end of the commemoration the 20 murdered children were introduced by students from ‘Stadtteilschule Langenhorn’ with the help of short biographies. This part ended with a moment of silence and a last song performed by the Kantorei St. Michaelis, leaded by Manuel Gera.

In summary we can say, that again lots of people from different countries took part in the commemoration, who had come to Bullenhuser Damm Memorial to remember the children and men, who were killed by the SS on April 20, 2018. Due to the occasion the atmosphere was very intimate and affected.

Sebastian Beer, volunteer  Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial