Images 1 mai 2022
Images 1 mai 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For CID, the International Dachau Committee, founded with the aim of unity and peace at the liberation of the camp 77 years ago, this roll call square of the former concentration camp is a place for reflection and remembrance. Not a podium for political statements.
However, it is impossible not to react and express our painful sympathy and bewilderment in the face of aggression against Ukraine and violations of international law.
It is not my task to fathom the numerous and complex causes of this war. But when it is called a mere "military operation" and its justification is the "denazification" of a part of Europe, it is our duty to express our deep indignation precisely from this place.
Because the use of the word "denazification" is an inadmissible distortion and an intolerable insult to all the victims of Nazism and the concentration camp system of which Dachau concentration camp was the model.
The survivors who are present today are here to bear witness. And the reality is that in addition to Soviet prisoners of war, over 4000 of whom were murdered in Hebertshausen, prisoners of Ukrainian origin were also registered in Dachau concentration camp along with the Russians.
According to estimates of the archive of the concentration camp memorial, of the 25,400 people who were imprisoned as Soviet citizens, at least 65% probably as many as 75% were residents of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic. They were all marked with the same R on their striped clothing.
Let us remember this common suffering, common martyrdom, and common struggle against Nazism until its extermination.
The call for "never again" and for an end to wars was a deep longing cried out by concentration camp survivors when they were liberated.
Despite incomplete progress, as can be seen, this goal remains ever relevant and inevitable for the whole world. The sad events we are witnessing remind some that peace is a precarious, unstable equilibrium that is not achieved once and for all, but must be pursued relentlessly.
How can we contribute in a modest way?
First of all, by seeking truth and objectivity By avoiding, for example, to reject dissenting opinions through rash instrumentalizations and simplifications.
The "reductio ad hitlerum," in which an opponent's arguments are disqualified by systematically associating them with Adolf Hitler, is common but unworthy.
National Socialism must not be trivialized. This includes stopping the careless use of the term " fascism " and at the same time calling any totalitarianism by its name.
Above all, however, there is a task that concerns us all and in which we can all participate. It is the mission initiated by the International Dachau Committee and now carried out by the Dachau Memorial and numerous associations and communities.
It is a duty to inform, to teach, to explain, and to tirelessly make our common history, with its many ethnic, religious, national, economic and linguistic aspects, understandable.
This work of mediation is an essential task, an indispensable step that must be continued among all, young people as well as visitors from all over the world, in order to help build peace.
For this task, the efforts and steps taken by the Bavarian Memorials Foundation and the Bavarian state government for the redesign of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial are encouraging and promising. Thank you for this landmark decision, we should not let up.
On this path marked out by the survivors, we are fortunate today that three of them will now speak before our common pledge in front of the memorial.
A Frenchman, Jean Lafaurie, president of the Circle of Friends of Eysses, the prison where the resistance fighters and many Spanish prisoners rebelled and were shot or deported to Dachau;
An Italian, Mario Candotto, also a resistance fighter and very active today as a contemporary witness, and a Ukrainian, Borys Zabarko, survivor of the Sharhorod ghetto and president of the Ukrainian Association of Jewish Former Prisoners of the Ghettos and Nazi Concentration Camps. He lives in Kiev and had to flee.
Thank you for your attention.
The President of the Comité International de Dachau (CID), the Director of the Foundation for Bavarian Memorial Sites and the Director of the Memorial Site invite you to the commemoration of the 77th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau concentration camp on Sunday, May 1st, 2022. Among others, the Bavarian State Minister for Education Prof. Dr. Michael Piazolo will speak at the event.
On 30 April 2020, the award ceremony of the Stanislav Zámečník Prize will take place via video link. This year it has been awarded to Dr. des. Markus Wegewitz from Jena for his dissertation "Cultivated Anti-Fascism. Nicolaas Rost and the long struggle against National Socialism, 1919-1967."
Award:« We are a small people and need friends»
By Anna Schwarz, Dachau
Holocaust survivor Abba Naor was the first to receive the new constitutional order of the Bavarian state parliament on Wednesday. State Parliament President Ilse Aigner (CSU) honoured the 93-year-old in a festive setting in the presence of Israel's Consul General Carmela Shamir, State Parliament Vice President and Bavarian Memorial Foundation Director Karl Freller and the Presidium.
One of the events held in celebration of the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp was the awarding of the Stavnislaw Zámêcnik prize to Johannes Meerwald for his research work entitled "Spanish prisoners in the Dachau Concentration Camp (1940-1944), deportation, detention, consequences".
This study on the Spanish deportees has once again highlighted their uniqueness. It is true that it was not a very large group compared with other groups of deportees of other nationalities. Around 750 people entered the camp (and it should be noted that some Spaniards were registered as having French nationality when they entered the camp, even though they were of Spanish origin).
Image: cedida por la Fundación Pablo Iglesias. Madrid
But as a group in itself it has a singularity that makes it different from all the other deportees, and that singularity lies in the fact that its anti-fascist history began in July 1936 to defend the legitimacy of the Second Spanish Republic after the military coup that gave rise to the Spanish war between 1936 and April 1939.
Spain was the first European theatre where a struggle against the advance of fascism and Nazism was initiated and fought. German and Italian support for General Francisco Franco's military coup, together with the neutrality of France and the United Kingdom, led to the collapse of the Second Republic. These two countries also forced the dissolution of the International Brigades that had arrived in Spain to support and defend the legitimacy of the Republican government. Europe did not understand that it had begun what years later would lead to the invasion of Poland and all that this action entailed.
Johannes Meerwald's work has led me to evoke and put into words what happened to a majority of Spaniards before their arrival in Dachau. I have wanted to use a short text to describe what happened to many families after that fateful 18 July 1936. This date marked the beginning for a large majority of women, men and children of events that led them years later, in January and February 1939, to cross the border into France in the hope of being free, but it became an exodus, an exile and an imprisonment behind barbed wire. In labour camps in France, in North Africa and in the Channel Islands... and finally being deported to the concentration camps of Nazi-ruled Germany.
To know what happened to this group of deportees before their arrival in Dachau is an act of Reparation with their Memory, it is to give word to their Silence and it is to transform Forgetting into Memory, and it is undoubtedly an improvement in the understanding of their lives.
Cristina Cristóbal Mechó
(Granddaughter of Fermín Cristóbal López 94139. Deported and died in Dachau)
Read more: BEFORE DACHAU..Web CID Spanish page. .
The Spaniards in transit: war, retreat, deportation, and silence.