Speach OB Hartmann Commemoration memorial death march Sa. 4. Mai 2019, 18 Uhr
Dear Sirs and Madames,
74 years have passed since the end of Nazi rule. 74 years since the end of the millionfold murder in concentration and extermination camps as the last consequence of a contemptuous, racist ideology. Despite the reminders of the survivors, despite the reports of contemporary witnesses, despite decades of enlightenment and memory politics, we are now confronted throughout Europe with a resurgent right-wing populism, right-wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism.
Right-wing populists in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands - to name but a few countries - want to absorb the perceived alienation of people in modern societies by redefining who belongs to them and who does not. When the boundaries of the community are redrawn, when WE and the OTHERS are separated, then minorities quickly become targets of hatred. The others, that may be the Muslims, that may be the refugees, that may be the Jews. Anti-Semitism and racism are spreading like poison. Radical words of right-wing politicians are followed by radical acts. The inhibition threshold, especially with regard to anti-Semitism, is sinking and making it more visible. Not only in Germany, throughout Europe.
"Envy and fear of failure," as Götz Aly put it, "Grudges and greed drove the anti-Semitism of the Germans. The deadly sin of envy, collectivist auspiciousness, modern science and mastery technology enabled the systematic mass murder of the European Jews. There is no place of evil that can be damned once and for all to ward off such horrors. An event similar in structure to the Holocaust may be repeated. Those who want to reduce such dangers should consider the complex human conditions and not believe that the anti-Semites of yesterday were completely different people than we are today. "
I think Götz Aly is absolutely right with his conclusion. The developments of the present clearly demonstrate this to us. We must therefore resolutely oppose the right-wing populism that is growing throughout Europe, speak out against anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism, against racism and all forms of hatred and oppression. In politics, but also in everyday life, where we can not allow people to be defamed or marginalized because of their religion, their origin or appearance, or because of their sexual orientation. Resist the beginnings - this is what the commemoration here at the memorial death march reminds us every year.
Thank you for your attention.
Speech Dana Bloch Commemoration memorial death march Sa. 4. Mai
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is the first year that I am here without my grandpa and it is hard for me.
Not only because I would have wanted him to be here with me, but because for me, him not being here symbolizes all that I fear the most.
I fear, I am really afraid that when the survivors will not be here anymore, their stories will be forgotten and in the best case, because their personal touch will be put aside, we will be left only with the cold facts, which do not even begin to represent the truth and profoundness of the cruelties of the Holocaust .
Regarding the growing anti-Semitism world-wide, it scares me more, and more.
No historical cold facts can describe what the single human had to go through, the fear, the survival, the thoughts he had, the dreams and desires, the human side.
My grandfather could not come this time because he has heart problems.
It turns out that even the Greatest Heart can become weak. The heart that had to go through so much, the brutal murder of his brother Chaim in the Ninth Fort, the gassing of his mother Hanna and his little brother Baerale in Auschwitz and the attempt to destroy his entire people, and despite everything, this heart has never decided to hate!
For years he tried, by telling his life story to do just that, and sometimes it even looked like he managed to succeed, but then the hideous head of anti-Semitism started to rise again, worldwide, and this hurts.
My grandfather is my hero, a man who had to go through so much cruelty and in spite of everything has remained so modest and above all he remained, as it is so beautiful said in Yiddish - a mate.
I owe it to my hero to continue in his path, to spread his story and words, and to make sure that the Holocaust will never be forgotten, never again. But for this, I need you all. And I ask you - are you ready to go on this path with me?