Remember Bullenhuser Damm – the film

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the murder of twenty Jewish children at an abandoned school building called Bullenhuser Damm, young people from five European countries met in Hamburg from April 16-20, 2015. They came from Radom (Poland), Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Paris (France), Messina (Italy) and Hamburg (Germany).

For this project, the young people did research on the Bullenhuser Damm children in their own countries, went to the archives and memorials and did interviews on the subject of remembrance. They presented the results of their research in Hamburg through the posters and films they made.

During their stay in Hamburg they attended workshops: they shared their thoughts on the future of remembrance, personally met the children’s relatives and participated in the 70th anniversary commemorative ceremony.

One workshop produced this film.

https://vimeo.com/134088511

aus film 2

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Group photos

Participants of the youth project from France, Poland, Italy, Netherlands and Germany. Photo: Foto: Vereinigung der Kinder vom Bullenhuser Damm e.V, Regine Christiansen

Participants of the youth project from France, Poland, Italy, Netherlands and Germany. Photo: Foto: Vereinigung der Kinder vom Bullenhuser Damm e.V, Regine Christiansen

Participants and the teachers of the youth project from France, Poland, Italy, Netherlands and Germany standing in front of the Bullenhuser Damm building. Photo: Foto: Vereinigung der Kinder vom Bullenhuser Damm e.V, Regine Christiansen

Participants and the teachers of the youth project from France, Poland, Italy, Netherlands and Germany standing in front of the Bullenhuser Damm building. Photo: Foto: Vereinigung der Kinder vom Bullenhuser Damm e.V, Regine Christiansen

Another online article about the project

Students in discussions whilst exploring the site  Quelle: http://www.welt.de/lesestueck/2015/Neuengamme/  Foto: Marcelo Hernandez

Students in discussions whilst exploring the site
Quelle: http://www.welt.de/lesestueck/2015/Neuengamme/
Foto: Marcelo Hernandez

There is another online-article about the project – a journalist was accompanying one of the eleven international groups when they were exploring the Neuengamme Memorial Site.

Wiktor Mozylowski (Polen), Leomar Magsino (Italien), Tim Wiggers (Deutschland), Justin van den Keilen (Niederlande) and Fanta Drame (Frankreich) were exploring the grounds in a team.
The article is only in German, but maybe you would like to have a look:

http://www.welt.de/lesestueck/2015/Neuengamme/

The importance of remembrance

On Saturday and Sunday the workshops took place in Neuengamme. We could choose from five different workshops: Preparing interviews with relatives of the victims, preparing for the ceremony on Monday, a workshop about remembrance, one about remembrance and the internet and a video workshop. I took part in the remembrance workshop. What is remembrance? How do we remember? And why? Those were the main questions, and it was up to us to find some answers. We’ve talked about remembrance in our own country, about when and who we remember and where. Every country turned out to have its very own way of remembering and it was very interesting to hear about all those traditions. Then groups of four were created and each group was given a sheet of paper, which was divided into five parts: a square in the middle, and four trapeziums on every side of the paper. Each group member got his/her own side and had to write down some ‘dos and don’ts’ about remembrance (‘What is good to do or say? What shouldn’t you do or say?’). In the end we had to put a summary of these sides in the middle. In my opinion really good things have been mentioned, like the importance of showing respect towards victims and family.

During the second part of the workshops on Saturday, we’ve been talking about remembrance and the internet (the two workshops had been mixed, not enough people had signed up for the internet workshop).  A video was shown about and old man and his grandchildren who were dancing in front of Auschwitz, to the song I Will Survive. We had to give our opinions about this. That wasn’t really easy, ‘cause has this man the right to dance there? Isn’t it disrespectful towards the victims? Those are actually hard, and kind of philosophic questions, but I think we all did well answering and thinking about them. Afterwards, in groups of three or four we had to write down what remembrance will/should look like in the future, and what’s the most important. We had to summarize that into a couple of sentences and hand those in, to be shared with the audience before the start of the ceremony on Monday.

I came to Hamburg and Neuengamme because plain information from a book could not impress me. Even though people keep telling about the terrible circumstances during the War, it didn’t touch me. I knew it had been terrible, but I couldn’t feel it. I could not feel the sorrow and the pain which was felt back then. But I knew I had to feel it. ‘cause if I didn’t feel it, my children wouldn’t feel it either. And their children. Eventually, it will be forgotten, because no one can imagine it anymore – it happened so long ago. And the same mistakes can or will be made again. To keep this and many other stories alive, to make sure it will not be forgotten, I had to feel it. So I took part in this project and signed up for this workshop. I saw the places the books had told me about in real. It’s good that I’ve been there, even though I couldn’t really feel it until I got home. There, I realised where I had been. What I’ve seen and haven’t seen. And I could feel it.

At the end of the first day of school I went to the memorial of Lex and Edo Hornemann. I put a stone on the monument, an old Jewish tradition to show respect, and to show you’ll come back to visit again. And I will.

 

Hier stehst du schweigend

Doch

Wenn du

Dich wendest

Schweige nicht

Rosemarie Koster (the Dutch group)

Interview with the mayor by the German students

On his Facebook and on his Twitter page, the mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, mentioned the interview he was giving to the German students of the Youth Project. Please have a look:

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/olafscholz/photos/a.116598989310.95419.104145414310/10153419486979311

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/OlafScholz/status/580445744676642816

Olaf Scholz Foto Pressestelle des Senates

photo: Pressestelle des Senats

Meeting Relatives

Here is a photo of  the meeting with Andra and Tatiana Bucci in Messina. This meeting took place on January 12 in a local Comprehensive school. Only seven students of the group were present. Giulia is the girl between Tatiana and Andra Bucci.

Right behind Andra there is Serena, very difficult tont oo see and next to her Sarah. Alberto is next to her but behind Emilio. Giovanni is in front of him and next to him there is Gabry.

Work is moving forward in Hamburg

Since November 2014 15 pupils from Fritz-Schumacher-Schule in Hamburg are engaged with the history of the crime at Bullenhuser Damm during the Nazi Regime.

The school is associated for several years with the museum at Bullenhuser Damm and therefore we are glad to participate at the youth exchange project in April.

After an introduction to the history of the crime the pupils developed own questions and chose their research subjects autonomously.

A groups of four boys is concerned with selected perpetrators, two girls are researching on the medical experiments on 20 children. A further group of two boys has decided to work on the living conditions of the children in the barrack in the concentration camp Neuengamme.

Furthermore the other pupils will interview some Hamburg residents to find out how the remembrance of the crime is maintained in Hamburg. Special highlights will be interviews with the mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, and the Hamburg Secretary of Education, Ties Rabe.

We are looking forward to present our results and to the presentations of the other groups.

 

Learning history from those who lived it

Tuesday morning was a very beautiful sunny day in Messina when eight hundred students from different schools of the city centre met at Palacultura Antonello da Messina the two youngest  Italian survivors of the holocaust. Andra and Tatiana were in Birkenau 11 with  a lot  of children. They were together with their  cousin  Sergio and the other nineteen children who answered Mengele’s question „step forward if you want to see your mother“. The highest authorities greeted Andra and Tatiana and  among the speakers there was Professor Lazzaro who was invited to speak as the author of a book on the Bullenhuser Damm Children. Tatiana Bucci thanked her for what she does in keeping the memory alive of the twenty children.

We learnt what was life like in the camp and  we listened with tears when they told about their arrest and the awful trip to Auschwitz. It is painful to remember but they do it for young people so they can learn history from those who lived it. It was sad to see them been taken away by a RAI journalist because  no students got the chance to ask questions. We feel lucky knowing that Prof Lazzaro gives us the opportunity to meet relatives of the children.  Giovanni, Alberto, Leo, Emilio, Andrea, Serena, Sara, Giulia, Trisha, Gabriele.