11/06/2020 Event

Start of the "Space to Remember, Connect and Support"

Relatives of former prisoners of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp have developed the “Space to Remember, Connect and Support” as an active and expanding international memorial site created by and for the relatives of former prisoners of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp. With individually-created posters, they tell the story of their persecuted family members. They invite others to reproduce the posters on-site and thus keep the memory alive. There will be a celebratory opening for this new, active memorial site on November 13, 2020.

It took 5 years for the relatives of the former prisoners of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp from multiple countries to work towards this moment. Due to the pandemic, only a small event will take place on November 13 at 11am. For this event, the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial, in cooperation with the “Space to Remember, Connect and Support” AG, the Friends of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial Site, the Neuengamme Working Groups and the Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme (AIN) invite you.

The persecution of former prisoners in the concentration camp is a central topic for many relatives, as their lives have also been influenced. The desire to express their personal connection with their family relative who was imprisoned in the concentration camp at the historical place of their suffering, inspired them to create the “Space to Remember, Connect and Support”. Together with the Experimental Design Studio at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg, they developed a multi-layered, interactive and international space of active remembrance.

Relatives of Neuengamme concentration camp prisoners all around the world are invited to create a poster motif about their persecuted family member representing their own personal memories. Printing plates will be made from these motifs, which will be presented in archive display cases on the outdoor premises of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. In the printing workshop, visitors of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial can, in workshops, use a printing-press to reproduce these posters and present them on a poster wall on site. This way, the memory of the people imprisoned in the Neuengamme concentration camp can be always be kept visible. Memory fades, even posters weather. This shows that: Remembering is an active process which, by participating, remains alive. “Remembrance means action!” is the motto of the multi-lingual website http://ort-der-verbundenheit.org , on which the posters are also available to see online. There, relatives and people who would like to support the project, can find instructions on how to participate.

Bernhard Esser (AG „Ort der Verbundenheit“): „My poster is a letter to my father and to my family, who were so terribly persecuted by the Nazis. In it, I promise my father that I will stay vigilant and will intervene. Today, the national socialist crimes are being once again denied, twisted and trivialized. For me, Remembrance means action. The “Space to Remember” will want to inspire others to be active. I find that more important today than ever."

Dr. Oliver von Wrochem (Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial): “With the ‘Space to Remember’, the perspectives of the relatives of those persecuted at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial find a permanent and highly visible place at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. This constantly evolving place of active remembrance can inspire visitors to consider the continuing effects of experiences of imprisonment on future generations. A great initiative and an important sign for society."

Charlotte Perka (Studio of Experimental Design at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts): "As students, we wanted to create a memorial site that invites people to take active action - the families of former prisoners, but also the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial visitors, who can show their solidarity by printing and posting posters. I hope that many people will join in!”

The opening will be streaming live on the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial’s Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/neuengamme.memorial).