The focus of an event by the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial and the State Library of Hamburg on April 5, 2016 were the disputs and discussion within the families of former perpetrators.
App. 150 visitors came to Hamburgs state library for the book presentation "Nationalsozialistische Täterschaften. Nachwirkungen in Gesellschaft und Familie (book and DVD) which was published by the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial.
Four children and grandchildren of perpetrators read passages of their contributions to the book in which they dealt with perpetratorship in their own families. Afterwards they talked to editor Dr Oliver von Wrochem about their motivation to contribute to the project and about the consequences of their researches on the family peace. Over 20 children and grandchildren of perpetrators, who had also contributed to the project, had been invited as guests of honor.
During the discussion that followed the reading all attendants affirmed the thesis of Dr Detlef Garbe, director of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial that the death of the perpetrators had been necessary for their family members to be able to cope with their contribution to National Socialist crimes in public.
Once again it became clear that the perpetratorship of family members can't remain without consequences on the lives of their relatives. Even more important are the seminars which are organized by the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial every half year. Relatives of former perpetrators are given the chance to talk to each other and to learn more about methods to research about family members.
Text: Ulrike Jensen, Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial