27 January—the day on which, in 1945, the Red Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp—has been the day of remembrance for all victims of National Socialism in Germany for 25 years.
On this day of remembrance, memorial museums and documentation sites, as well as remembrance initiatives on the history of the National Socialist dictatorship from all over Germany, will commemorate the historical events on site by illuminating local sites of remembrance after dark. Photographs and videos of the lighting flash mobs are posted via “social” media with the hashtag #LichterGegenDunkelheit and distributed via the project website.
Set against the background of historical events, the memorial museums send an active signal against nationalism, racism, antisemitism and antiziganism and invite people to consciously address current antidemocratic tendencies in society and the state. Well-founded historical knowledge is a necessary building block towards recognizing and debunking conspiracy theories and antidemocratic acts. The commemoration of the victims, as well as historical and political learning that occurs at the sites of historical events, are an indispensable part of our country’s culture.
The architects of the campaign are the House of the Wannsee Conference, the Topography of Terror Foundation (both located in Berlin) and the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation. Dr. Elke Gryglewski, managing director of the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation; Deborah Hartmann, director of the House of the Wannsee Conference Memorial and Educational Site; and Dr. Thomas Lutz, memorial museums advisor for the Topography of Terror Foundation: "We are committed to an informed, substantiated and differentiated examination of the history of National Socialism, its causes, crimes and consequences at the historical locations. We strive for an examination that invites self-reflection. In doing this, we resolutely oppose conspiracy narratives, the relativization of the Shoah and historical revisionism, as expressed, for example, at the demonstrations against an alleged ‘Corona dictatorship.’ We are committed to educational work that not only reflects the diversity of our society but values it. Memorial museums demonstrate ideological lines of continuity with today’s group-related misanthropy and thus help civil society and state institutions to counter it. On 27 January, we will draw attention to this important work with the #LichterGegenDarkheit campaign."