On November 13 2020, the "Space to Remember, Connect and Support" was ceremonially opened on the grounds of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. From now on, relatives can design posters for their relatives imprisoned at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp. The „Space to Remember“ consists of an on-site presentation in the form of printing plates, a billboard, a printing workshop, and a website with a digital archive.
Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, a limited number of people were able to be present at the memorial to see the ceremonial opening. The event was shared live on Instagram and on Zoom to allow as many relatives and other interested people worldwide to attend the opening as possible. This invitation was taken up by numerous people. Greetings and congratulations from Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain reached the event. Relatives who were unable to attend were grateful that the attendees of the inauguration put up their family members' posters on their behalf.
Uta Kühl, Treasurer of the Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme and daughter of concentration camp survivor Hermann Kühl, explained in her on-site speech why the place of attachment is so important for relatives:
"For a very, very long time I felt alone. Alone with my anger. Alone with my grief. Alone with my will to fight for a "never again". Knowing other family members, sharing, keeping the memory alive together, being vigilant and fighting for a "never again" gives me strength, confidence and determination".
Kristof Van Mierop, Secretary General of Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme and grandson of concentration camp survivor Roger Vyvey, emphasised in his speech, which was streamed live, that it is important to remember all prisoners:
"All prisoners went through the same hell in Neuengamme and its sub-camps, including those who survived. That is why it is important to remember and commemorate everyone, survivors and dead alike. In the place of solidarity, everyone can find a place."
Bernhard Esser, son of the concentration camp survivor Rudolf Esser, would like to encourage other people to take action with this project:
"It is up to all of us whether these posters weather with time and the suffering, death and Nazi crimes are forgotten, or whether we keep the memory of the prisoners of Neuengamme concentration camp alive and carry their stories out into the public and the world."
Link to website "Space to Remember, Connect and Support"
(Dutch, English, French, German, Polish, Russian)