„First and foremost we owe the knowledge about the atrocities committed in the Neuengamme concentration camp to the British investigations and the 35 British trials against members of the staff of the Neuengamme concentration camp and it’s satellite camps. The fact that it was possible to start the trial against those responsible for the crimes not even one year after the end of World War II shows the extraordinary scopes of the British investigation authorities. As representative of the government of Hamburg and as inhabitant of the city I would like to express my huge respect.” With those words Hamburg’s Senator of Justice, Dr. Till Steffen, greeted the audience of the scenic reading “39 days Curiohaus” on April 11, 2016. Then well-known actors, e.g. Peter Franke, Manfred Zapatka and Gustav Peter Wöhler, read parts of the protocol of the hugest trial against guards of the Neuengamme concentration camp.
Haunting descriptions of atrocities and mass killings and the roles of single defendants took turns with trivial organizational pleads of defense councils, who asked for a day off – the audience of the reading went through an emotional roller coaster that made it remain silent for several minutes after the end of the performance. Then it thanked the actors and the composer of the reading, Michael Batz, with a huge applause and took the chance to ask questions to Mr. Batz as well as to the historians Dr. Detlef Garbe and Dr. Reimer Möller from the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial who gave more information about the historical background.