11/12/2021 News

Commemoration of the former prisoners Louis Derasse and Alexandre Sehgers

On November 5, 2021, a delegation of the CNPPA (Confédération Nationale des Prisonniers Politiques et Ayant Droits) from Belgium visited the Neuengamme concentration camp memorial to commemorate the resistance fighters Luis Derasse and Alexandre Seghers, who were imprisoned in Neuengamme, at the “Ort der Verbundenheit” (site of solidarity). The delegation included Guy Derasse, vice president of the CNPPA and son of Louis Derasse, and Michel Descamps, grandson of Alexandre Seghers as well as Claude Clarembaux and Jean Cardoen.

After the official reception by Dr. Oliver von Wrochem (Director Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial), the delegation was guided by Pastor Hanno Billerbeck (Church Memorial Work) and translator Annick Eckel along the brickworks, the clay pit, and the branch canal through the grounds of the former Neuengamme Concentration Campand. The forced labor and the conditions of imprisonment were discussed in detail.  

At the place of solidary ("Ort der Verbundenheit") H. Billerbeck explained how poster designs are printed by printing plates which are permanently stored in the archive selves arcoss from the poster wall. Afterwards Guy Derasse and Michel Descamps placarded the poster wall with motifs of their ancestors. It was a very moving moment!

After Louis Derasse and Alexandre Sehgers were arrested by the Gestapo in their home country, both were on the same prisoner train to Neuengamme on August 31, 1944. "I was still a baby when my father was reported by a neighbor," Guy Derasse recounts. "He had taken refuge with my grandparents, but was arrested in Taintignies and passed through these Gestapo cells in Tournai for five days. He was sent to Neuengamme and never came back." Louis Derasse was murdered in Bergen-Belsen in April 1945. Alexandre Seghers returned to Belgium on June 26, 1945, after being liberated by the British Army.