02/04/2021 Commemorative ceremony

We participated in the action "Lights Against Darkness"

The liberation of the Auschwitz death camp 76 years ago on January 27, 1945 did not mean the end of persecution, exploitation, oppression and murder of tens of thousands of people who continued to be imprisoned in concentration camps like Neuengamme. Especially in the last months of the war, thousands of prisoners died. We commemorated the suffering of the prisoners in an online event on Memorial Day for the Victims of National Socialism, coinciding with other memorials at sites of Nazi crimes.

With a projection at the memorial and the illumination of the sculpture "Le Deporté" by Françoise Salmon, we commemorated those who died in the Neuengamme concentration camp on January 27, 1945. There was also a reading from memories of former prisoners. First, the names of the prisoners who died on January 27, 1945 in the Neuengamme concentration camp and its satellite camps were read. At the same time, their names were projected onto the International Memorial. Afterwards, quotes from survivors were read out in three parts. It began with quotes from women who had been deported from the Auschwitz concentration camp to the subcamps of the Neuengamme concentration camp. In the second part, experiences before the liberation were read out, and finally reports from the liberation. Photos of the people quoted were projected onto the memorial, as well as an English translation of the quotes. The event, since it could not take place with an audience due to Corona regulations, was broadcast live on Instagram.

The "Lights Against Darkness" action was held for the first time to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp last year. In a nationwide campaign, more than 100 memorials made a statement again this year with various types of lighting. They remembered the victims of National Socialism and thus drew attention to the work of the many memorial and educational sites, memorial initiatives and places.

The recording of the event can be found on both the Instagram account and the Vimeo channel of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. The Tagesschau Instagram account also accompanied the event.

Report by Miriam Rupprecht