Day of Remembrance at the University of Bremen

“Never again have to say ‘Never again!’” was the motto of this year’s Day of Remembrance at the University of Bremen. In modern-day Germany, commemoration of the victims of National Socialism is a firmly established feature of remembrance and culture policy. From today’s perspective, one could suppose this was always the case. Commemoration of the victims of National Socialism appears so universally accepted all over the country that it now even provokes a backlash. Critical scholars like the British historian Timothy Ash bring into question what has become to be popularly known as the “DIN norm of commemoration”. And with reference to commemoration of the Reichskristallnacht in 1938, back in 1996 the Jewish critic and journalist Michal Bodemann controversially spoke of a “commemoration farce”.

Such provocative language is the topic of a talk to mark commemoration of the victims of National Socialism which will be held by Dr. Jörg Skriebeleit at the University of Bremen on 31st January 2013. The talk, entitled “Never again have to say 'Never again'” German commemoration culture caught between emotional formulae and critical historical awareness”, will begin at 4.00 p.m. in the Hörsaalgebäude building GW1 (opposite the Universum). Members of the public are warmly invited to attend.

Since 1996, Jörg Skriebeleit M.A., born in 1968, has been working at the concentration camp memorial in Flossenbürg, where in December 1999 he assumed the post of scientific director. His talk is an attempt to capture the state of German commemoration culture in respect of National Socialism, revealing the problem issues, upheavals, and future challenges.

This will be followed by another talk on the topic “On their way to a new home? Men, women, and old people being transported to Auschwitz”. The event is being organized by the University’s Faculty of Law, and the speaker will be Prof. (ret.) Christoph Schminck-Gustavus. Based on original photographic material gathered by a Wehrmacht war correspondent, he will retrace the deportation of the Jewish community from Joainna (Greece) that took place on 25th March 1944. Members of the public are also welcome to attend.

Kopfsteinpflaster auf Bürgerstein, ein Stein wurde durch gravierte Metallplatte ersetzt ("Stolperstein")