Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. Remembering the millions of Jews that died at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War always makes me sad that humans can be capable of such hideousness against their fellow man. This year, I have not only been thinking about the couple of visits I made to the remains of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp during the 1980s (as my Grandmother worked for the British army and was stationed near by) but also thinking abouta couple of places I saw in Berlin last year.
One is the Holocaust Memorial itself, which is an amazing sight to behold. I find it hard to think of any other capital city and country that would devote a whole city block in the centre of town to a large scale memorial. I am sorry to say that I only saw it at night and so my photographs aren’t great (in my mind)
Astonishing, and humbling, as the Holocaust Memorial is, the memorial one that sticks in my mind is found in the Neue Wache. It was not something that I was aware of and it caught me off guard and was very moving.
The Neue Wache is the New Guardroom, and is the memorial to the victims of war and tyranny. It is an empty room, save for a large scale model of Kathe Kollwitz’s Mother and Dead Son.
It was a stunning, and very moving space. The words that were written on a sign as you the memorial and they really resonated with me. These are the people I think of today and also on Remembrance Sunday in November.
The Neue Wache is the place where we commemorate the victims of war and tyranny.
We honour the memory of the people who suffered through war.
We remember their citizens who were persecuted and who lost their lives.
We remember those killed in action in the World Wars.
We remember the innocent who lost their lives as a result of war in their homeland, in captivity and through expulsion.
We remember the millions of Jews who were murdered.
We remember the Sinti and Roma who were murdered.
We remember all those who were killed because of their origin, homosexuality, sickness or infirmity.
We remember all who were murdered, whose right to life was denied.
We remember the people who had to die because of their religious or political convictions.
We remember all those who were victims of tyranny and met their death, though innocent.
We remember the women and men who sacrificed their lives in resistance to despotic rule.
We honour all who preferred to die rather than act against their conscience.
We honour the memory of the women and men who were persecuted and murdered because they resisted Totalitarian dictatorship after 1945.
Thanks for reading this, my lovely Interonauts. I hope we all find time to remember those who lost their lives to Tyranny and that we will all work together to prevent it happening again. I fear that the current world we will need to be strong to fight against this happening again.