Ceremony on the occasion of the 77th anniversary of the liberation of Ravensbrück concentration camp and its subcamps on 29/30 April 2022 at the “Waldbau” concentration camp memorial site (Neubrandenburg)
Veranstaltungen anlässlich des 77. Jahrestags der Befreiung des KZ Ravensbrück und seiner Außenlager am 29./30. April 2022 im KZ-Gedenkort „Waldbau“ (Neubrandenburg)
Inauguration of the Name Drops installation by Imke Rust – Ceremony with Minister Dr. Till Backhaus and Vice-President of the State Parliament of MV Elke Annette Schmidt and representatives from the state, district and municipalities
Einweihung der NamensTropfen-Installation von Imke Rust – Festakt mit Minister Dr. Till Backhaus und der Vizepräsidentin des Landtages MV Elke Annette Schmidt und Vertreter:innen aus Land, Landkreis und Kommunen
Deutscher Text: Bitte HIER klicken. (Dr. Martin Müller-Butz, zeitlupe (RAA MV e.V.)
77 years after the liberation of the Ravensbrück concentration camp by the Red Army, the victims were commemorated in a memorial ceremony. This took place at the concentration camp field office in Nemerower Holz near Neubrandenburg. In prominent company, a work of art by the artist Imke Rust was inaugurated at the memorial site in honour of the victims.
“Waldbau” Concentration Camp Memorial – a place of shared remembrance
30 April 2022 marked the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Ravensbrück concentration camp by the Red Army. In Neubrandenburg, the National Socialists had set up two more places, the concentration camp in Ihlenfelder Straße in 1943 and the “Waldbau” concentration camp in 1944, where tens of thousands of men and women from all over Europe had to perform forced labour under the most adverse conditions. Both places were subcamps of the Ravensbrück main camp – and at the same time closely linked to the armaments industry in National Socialist Neubrandenburg. Using machines transported from Warsaw to “Waldbau”, the women produced parts for thousands of V1 rockets, pistols, bombing devices etc. for the war of extermination in Eastern Europe. In the last days before the end of the war, both camps were emptied and the already exhausted concentration camp prisoners were systematically maltreated and shot on so-called “death marches”.
On the occasion of the anniversary, the mayor of Neubrandenburg Silvio Witt and the managing director of RAA M-V Christian Utpatel invited to a ceremonial act of remembrance in Waldbau on 29 April, which was attended by Franc But, ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia and representatives of the embassies of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. With their presence, the diplomatic representatives underlined the significance of the site as a place of remembrance that unites nations and occupies a justified and important place in the European context of remembrance of the Second World War. Other guests such as the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Till Backhaus, the head of the Mecklenburg Lake District Thomas Müller and the director of the State Centre for Political Education MV Jochen Schmidt inaugurated the installation of name drops by the artist Imke Rust.
Naming the names of the imprisoned women – making regional remembrance possible
The installation on the grounds of the former camp makes visible the names of 500 women so far who were systematically exploited as concentration camp prisoners in the camps of Neubrandenburg and in some cases had to do forced labour for the armaments industry based here until their death. Over the past two years, young people and interested adults from Neubrandenburg and the surrounding area engraved the names of some of the 1,500 women on the drop-shaped plexiglass plates, either from home or in joint workshops. Researchers Nadja Grintzewitsch (Managing Director of the Dr. Hildegard Hansche Foundation), Dr. Harry Schultz and Tino Kammerer, under the direction of Eleonore Wolf (City Archives NB) and Dr. Constanze Jaiser, researched the names and compiled them in a database. The installation shows the extent of the crimes committed by the National Socialists in Neubrandenburg and underlines their impact on the lives of women. With the name drops, the German-Namibian artist has enabled an individual and intergenerational remembrance of the women and has already created a multitude of occasions for a joint activating remembrance and a regional search for traces.
Text from Dr. Martin Müller-Butz, 4. Mai 2022, zeitlupe (RAA MV e.V.) Translated by Deepl – free version
Find more information about this memorial installation HERE.
Following some more impressions of the day
Images by Imke Rust ©, 2 images by Stadt Neubrandenburg/Demmin © as indicated