Declaration of Madrid
DECLARATION OF MADRID
Meeting in Madrid on 2 November 2019 - on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camps - we, Chairpersons and Secretaries-General of the International Committees of Nazi extermination and concentration camps, salute the work accomplished by the Spanish authorities and the Amical de Mauthausen y Otros Campos for the recognition of the deportation of the Spanish Republicans to the Nazi camps.
Having taken note of the European Parliament resolution of 19 September 2019 on the Importance of European Remembrance for the future of Europe (2919/2819 RSP), we express our deep concern at the erroneous view of the history of 20 th century contained in this text. We see this resolution as an attempt to put the victims of Nazi terror and Stalinism on an unequal footing under the thoughtless term of "totalitarianism". We will always bow with the deepest respect to the suffering of the victims of Stalinism, but we cannot accept any attempt to conflate the victims of Stalinism and Nazism or to play one group against the other.
We cannot accept that the philosophical underpinnings of the Nazi camps, where systemic violence prevailed, namely racism and anti-Semitism, the industrial-level extermination of entire ethnic groups - men, women and children - are not named in this resolution. .
We hope to be able to make our contribution so that, on the occasion of the 75 th anniversary of the liberation of the camps and the end of the Second World War, the Members of the European Parliament draw up a new resolution respectful of the memory of all the victims of Nazism and of the ambitious messages they have left us; a resolution demonstrating a clear commitment of the European Parliament against racism, antisemitism, nationalism, and exclusion and an unequivocal stance for Human Rights, solidarity, and an attitude of openness towards the Other.
We reaffirm our demand for full compliance with the European Parliament resolution of 11 February 1993 on the European and international protection of Nazi concentration camp sites as historic monuments.
We welcome the initiative taken by the International Committee of Mauthausen to launch a new cultural route within the framework of the specific programme of the Council of Europe in this regard: this itinerary intends to make history visible in geography and in the European area. It will document the European network of Nazi terror, whether in concentration camps and extermination camps or in the ghettoes and during death marches.
We welcome the commitment of many young Europeans to the remembrance of the victims of the Nazi camps. We encourage them to continue their peaceful struggle for the preservation of the values of freedom, respect for human rights and international solidarity, bequeathed to us by the deportees and internees who have nourished the construction of Europe.
International Committees of Auschwitz, Buchenwald-Dora, Dachau, Mauthausen, Natzweiler-Struthof, Neuengamme, Ravensbrück, Sachsenhausen; Flossenbürg Association, Assoziatione Nazionale Ex Deportati Campi Nazisti (ANED), International Freedom Fighters Federation (FIR), International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
Thursday the 19th of September 2019, after a full life, Clement Quentin died in the hospital of Cholet. He passed away only a day after the celebration of his 99th birthday, surrounded by his family.
Commemoration of the death march Mai 4 2019
„"Envy and fear of failure," as Götz Aly put it, "Grudges and greed drove the anti-Semitism of the Germans....... (OB Hartmann)
"No historical cold facts can describe what the single human had to go through, the fear, the survival, the thoughts he had, the dreams and desires, the human side." (Dana Bloch)
Mai 5 2019 - Welcome speach of Jean SAMUEL
" But let's not lose hope because we see a whole generation of our children and grandchildren defending the values we fought for."
Mauthausen Appeal of the International Committees of the Nazi Extermination and Concentration Camps ahead of the European Parliament elections 23-26 May 2019
On May 5th, 2019, on the occasion of the international ceremonies commemorating the liberation of the Mauthausen Nazi Camp in Austria, the Representatives of the International Committees of the Nazi Extermination and Concentration Camps climbed the 186 stairs of the stairway of death, emblem of the Mauthausen Camp, in order to reaffirm their attachment to the protection of Memorial sites and the public's free access to them.
Today, they would like to launch the following appeal:
“As guardians of the memory of the prisoners of the nazi extermination and concentration camps and the values they defended – often to their deaths –,
We, the representatives of the International Committees of the Nazi Extermination and Concentration Camps,
Profoundly worried by the nationalist, populist, and xenophobic policies enacted by a number of governments of the states of our continent,
Considering that these policies are in fundamental contradiction with the spirit of the different oaths made by the detainees upon their liberation, in particular by those of Mauthausen and Buchenwald,
Evaluating the grave threat that these policies represent for our collective destiny because of their appeals to violence, to hate, and to antidemocratic practices,
img_00242 to img_00375 for KZ-Gedenkstätte Dachau, Bernhard Krause
img_8111 to 8206; for CID, Fred Geerling
Speech by Jean-Michel Thomas
74th anniversary of the liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp. May 5, 2019.
The threats to democracy in Europe should be cause of concern. The expression of dissatisfaction, discontent and frustration has indeed changed the political landscape. Parliamentary representations have evolved and concerns are emerging for the coming elections in Europe. This international context is fragile, with the inadmissible recrudescence of anti-Semitism and radical Islamism always present.
But we are also threatened by the relativisation of Nazism and of its policy of extermination in the gas chambers at Auschwitz, through work and starvation in Dachau and the other camps. We all know the despicable qualifications used to negate these 12 years of Nazism, beginning with the construction of the Dachau concentration camp in 1933.
Faced with the desire to ignore or distort the past, we need to preserve the history of this era, and remember all the victims and those who contributed to other perspectives than a brown and booted Europe.
As such, the survivors of Dachau were among the first Europeans. In the name of ‘Plus Jamais Ça’ (Never Again), faithful to the memory of all their companions in misery, they wanted their unimaginable stories to be told, to be believed. Their wishes are honoured and the Foundation, the Memorial and their many volunteers will continue to tell their stories. We thank them again.
But the lesson of this history is not yet known to everyone and therein lies a danger.
Relativizing and bracketing Nazism by caricatures that ignore reality, compromises the transmission of history and its lessons to be learned. This will make it impossible for the new generations to get to know and understand the history of the tragedies of the twentieth century and their complexity.
In this context, in the presence of real hostility, our gathering and our reflection here today takes on its full meaning at this international ceremony which purpose and meaning are worth recalling.
Our procession has just fervently crossed the entire site of the camp, preceded by The death book, wherein the names of 40,000 deaths in both the Dachau camp and its outpost camps.
The participating last survivors were surrounded by the national flags of all the camp prisoners. The flags were carried by their descendants or by young people who want to keep the memory alive.
The last moving part of this procession will take place in front of this monument, where we will take a bow.
This touching gathering culminates in the laying of wreaths and reflection, to honour the dead who opposed and fought against Nazism. The first arrivals to the new Dachau camp, political opponents and Jews, had one thing in common with all the detainees who followed them in the following 12 years. They were opponents of this regime, opposed to this ideology based on racism and xenophobia and to the regime that was chasing them in all the European countries at war, for their battles, their beliefs, their opinions or their orientations.
This repression of the opponents in this first Dachau concentration camp, which became the "mother house" and learning model at the school of violence to all the other camps, makes this site the symbol of the Resistance to Nazism.
Today, laying a wreath at the foot of this monument for the victims of the Dachau concentration camp and its outlying camps, has a special and universal value that transcends the boundaries and disagreements on the immediate management of our democratic societies.
We are laying a wreath to honour all the victims, to salute the ideal and the martyrdom of those who resisted and sacrificed their lives to fight this ideology. And finally to recognize the true aspect of Nazism and its millions of deaths.
This symbolic gesture, understood by all, has an obvious significance. This gesture of union is of course open to all, no one excluded, in respect and fellowship. And it is rendered, according to the traditional ritual, by the representatives of the federal and Bavarian institutions, religious communities, various nations and their memorial associations and all the political parties and associations.
This international gathering in reflection is therefore a bearer of hope. Historical reality cannot be denied, ignored, transformed or softened. It challenges us, we must remember and respect it. Some deny this evidence and reject this approach. They can only be devoured by their ideological contradictions.
Jean-Michel Thomas President of the CID
Stanislav Zámečník Research Award of the Comité International de Dachau
In 2019, the Comité International de Dachau (CID) will again award the Stanislav Zámečník Research Award. The CID’s mission is to preserve the memory of the crimes in the Dachau concentration camp; it is an international association consisting of the organizations of former inmates of the Dachau concentration camp from 25 countries and their families. The Comité International de Dachau donates the study prize in memory of the victims of the National Socialist concentration and extermination camps, in particular in the Dachau concentration camp. The award has been given every two years since 2017; 6,000 euros are available for this.