A sign against forgetting

A sign against forgetting

The catholic and protestant churches and the town of hammelburg made an impressive gesture against forgetting on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the reichspogromnacht. Anniversary of the reichspogromnacht. Mayor armin warmuth (CSU) emphasized in his memorial service "that we must oppose the rise and growth of anti-semitism, racism, right-wing extremism and violence with all our strength and determination – also and especially 80 years later. Also and especially in a world situation in which inhuman, chauvinistic and inflammatory positions are increasingly gaining the upper hand. Also and especially in a time in which right-wing extremist ideas have taken hold in all german state parliaments and in the bundestag".

The gathering to commemorate the persecuted, tortured and murdered victims of the nazi regime makes us aware of the responsibility and the obligation arising from the events of 9/11. November and the "terrible history of national socialism have arisen for all of us. To remember in order to sympathize, to reflect on the past, to think ahead to the present. In order to recall the events of pogrom night, warmuth asked the names of the jewish citizens who were deported at the time to be read aloud. The names are also engraved on a plaque. For this purpose, candles in the form of a star of david were lit. Those present read out the names, the date of birth, the place of residence in hammelburg and that of the extermination camp, as well as the year of death.

The hour of remembrance was framed by musicians and singers who had spontaneously made themselves available at the request of pastoral adviser, markus waite. "In hammelburg there are no more jews, but according to jewish understanding they are present in this hour. This is a day of awe and forgiveness – also for the churches that did not stand up to these terrible acts with enough energy", says waite.

The protestant pastor, robert augustin, continued this thread with the question: "how did i behave as a pastor back then?? Also the church was silent at that time and became a follower as well as numerous burgers", he confessed. Using the example of a confrere who preached resistance to the murderous deeds of the nazi regime from the pulpit during these years – he was deposed and disappeared – he called for more courage instead of tacit indifference.

Mayor warmuth continued his speech with eyewitness accounts from hammelburg and the surrounding area. According to this, the barbarism began on the morning of the 10. November when the doors of jewish residents were kicked in, the furniture destroyed and clothes slashed or thrown out the window. In westheim, the bands broke open the torah shrine and threw the torah scrolls into the fire along with other judaic cult objects. Similar debauchery took place in the jewish homes and the synagogue of untererthal.

The hammelburg synagogue was plundered on 11. November by nazi hordes, desecrated and robbed, the law tablets smashed off the wall. "No, it was not just a few broken pieces that went to pieces, but a well-organized destructive frenzy with inconceivable riots that led to the nazi extermination camps".

"We are here today to prevent our eyes from ever being closed to this monstrous truth, which shows what ideological delusions can do to people. Who seriously believed that right-wing extremism was on the rise again in the world, in europe and here in germany?. Exclusion of minorities, popular thinking, a radicalization of language and action are trying to corrode the foundations of our democratic society", said the mayor.

"Let’s open our eyes, let’s accept the responsibility to stand up for a country that puts the individual and his or her needs at the center, that wants and supports diversity, that strengthens civic courage and solidarity, that is constantly aware of the importance of democracy and the rule of law and never accepts attacks on them silently and indifferently. The everlasting memory of the shoa (annihilation) is our obligation in recognizing how we can shape the future of our country", ended the mayor.


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