October 2018

  • “Long live our just cause!” The Slovak National Uprising, 29 August to 27 October 1944

    Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen

    “Long live our just cause!” The Slovak National Uprising, 29 August to 27 October 1944

    17. October 2018 – 16. December 2018

    Soldaten der Armee des Slowakischen Nationalaufstands marschieren in den Kampf gegen die deutsche Besatzungsmacht, Anfang September 1944 © Militärarchiv, Bratislava

    Opening of the special exhibition of the German Resistance Memorial Centre in cooperation with the Institute of History at the Slovak Academy of Sciences

    The Slovak National Uprising of 1944 is one of the most striking examples of the insurgencies that broke out against the Nazi regime in Europe in the last year of the war. With the support of the Czechoslovak government in exile, it was carried out by democrats and communists as well as partisans and soldiers who were not willing to fight on the side of the Wehrmacht. The leaders of this uprising overcame their ideological differences to achieve their shared goal: the liberation of the country and the restoration of a state in which the democratic Slovakia and the Czech lands were equal partners.

    The uprising was defeated by German troops at the end of October 1944, but the Slovak partisans continued fighting until the liberation in April 1945.

    The exhibition will be on display from 17 October to 16 December 2018. A book to accompany the exhibition will be available to purchase on site.

    Location: Bergen-Belsen Memorial, Forum

     

December 2018

  • V-weapons and crimes. Wernher von Braun and National Socialism

    Stiftung niedersächsische Gedenkstätten

    V-weapons and crimes. Wernher von Braun and National Socialism

    16. December 2018

    14:30 - 16:00

    Lecture by Dr Jens-Christian Wagner, Director of the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation

    Wernher von Braun is still considered by many in Germany to be a technical genius and luminary in the field of civilian space flight. The fact that he spent the majority of his professional life developing weapons of war is often overlooked – as is the fact that he shared responsibility for the forced labour of thousands of concentration camp prisoners who had to work in the Nazis’ rocket programme.

    In this lecture, historian Dr Jens-Christian Wagner will explore the question of what prompted Wernher von Braun and his colleagues to develop weapons for the Nazis’ predatory war of annihilation and to use concentration camp prisoners in the production of V2 rockets. The lecture looks in particular at von Braun’s attitude toward the Nazis and his responsibility for Nazi crimes. Was von Braun a dedicated National Socialist or more of an unscrupulous opportunist who allied himself with the Nazi leadership in order to pursue his own goals? How did he depict his activities under the Nazis after 1945? Why was von Braun able to seamlessly continue his work for the Americans in 1945?

    Event organised by the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation in cooperation with the Bomann Museum Celle

    Location: Bomann Museum Celle, Schlossplatz 7, 29221 Celle

     

January 2019

  • The quiet path of resistance – Culture as a means of self-assertion in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

    Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen

    The quiet path of resistance – Culture as a means of self-assertion in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

    13. January 2019

    14:30 - 16:30

    Thematic tour with Ann-Christine Stölpe through the permanent exhibition

    Location: Bergen-Belsen Memorial

    Meeting place: Information desk in the Documentation Centre

     
  • Irma Grese. Staged reading with Dr Thomas Rahe, Martina König, Kerstin Gade and Bernd Horstmann

    Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen

    Irma Grese. Staged reading with Dr Thomas Rahe, Martina König, Kerstin Gade and Bernd Horstmann

    20. January 2019

    14:30 - 16:30

    Among the defendants in the Belsen Trial held in Lüneburg in the autumn of 1945, the 22-year-old Irma Grese particularly attracted public attention. In the coverage of the trial, she was soon presented as the epitome of a Nazi Fury, the “Beast of Belsen”. She had worked as an SS guard since 1942 in Ravensbrück, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen and was known for her especially brutal treatment of the prisoners. She was sentenced to death in the Belsen Trial and executed in Hameln in December 1945. The Am Wehl cemetery in Hameln, where Irma Grese and other executed Nazi criminals were buried, has been a pilgrimage site for right-wing extremists since the 1970s and a place where the denial and trivialization of the Nazis’ mass crimes has crystallized.

    This staged reading using texts by and about Irma Grese outlines a perpetrator who has become a myth and her involvement in the mass crimes of the Nazis.

    Please register by 13 January 2019 by emailing information.bergen-belsen@stiftung-ng.de or phoning 05051 – 4759-0.

    Location: Turmbühne Schlosstheater Celle, Schlossplatz 1, 29221 Celle

    Event organised in cooperation with the Schlosstheater Celle.

     

February 2019

  • Political prisoners in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

    Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen

    Political prisoners in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

    10. February 2019

    14:30 - 16:30

    Thematic tour with Michael Pechel through the permanent exhibition

    Location: Bergen-Belsen Memorial

    Meeting place: Information desk in the Documentation Centre

     
  • “Let them die, so many of ours are dying!” Commandant Adolf Haas and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

    Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen

    “Let them die, so many of ours are dying!” Commandant Adolf Haas and the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

    24. February 2019

    14:30 - 16:30

    Lecture and book presentation by Jakob Sass (Berlin)

    SS-Sturmbannführer Adolf Haas was the first commandant of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. He was not considered either a “strict” commandant or a particularly fierce antisemite. All the same, his tenure as commandant was characterised by brutal ruthlessness, but also occasionally by the arbitrary patronisation of individual prisoners. In the eyes of his superiors, he was considered only moderately skilled and not particularly motivated.

    Historian Jakob Sass from Berlin has published the first detailed biography of Adolf Haas. In this lecture, he presents his new findings on Adolf Haas’s career in the SS, particularly in relation to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and he addresses Haas’s unexplained disappearance in April 1945.

    Location: Bergen-Belsen Memorial, Film Room

     

March 2019