Dear Veterans, Dear Friends,
Mr. Secretary of State Georg Einsenreich,
Mr. Director Karl Freller,
Mr. Mayor Maire Florian Hartmann,
Madam Hammermann and the Staff of the Dachau Memorial,
Ladies and Gentlemen representatives of the diplomatic missions, communes, religious communities, parties and organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
From around the world, we are here to commemorate the deported political resistants against the Nazi regime and those being imprisoned because of their ethnic, religious origins, those dead, those suffering here and in the Kommandos and exterior camps, those returning after the liberation with scars, trauma of their sufferings.
The deported resistants were from Albania, Germany, England, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, United States, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, without forgetting the Armenian deported, the Irakian deported, the Iranian deported, the Canadian deported, the Chinese deported, the Jewish deported, the Sinti and Roma.
I mentioned them in an alphabetical order, because each of the countries, each of the groups, requires our highest respect, without putting a country or a group in a different hierarchy.
The deported from whole around the world made Dachau an international place, with an increased importance above the German national politics.
Dachau, the first State concentration camp, school of violence, symbol of the resistance, marked by the Nazis with a red triangle, symbol meeting all the other symbols of résistance against Nazis.
This symbol is today a sign of pride, as a sign of victory in the battle against the Nazis barbarism.
Dachau was liberated by the Americans, but without forgetting the millions of dead people and the sufferance of the East countries.
We must not forget that the war against the Nazism could not be won without the commitment, support of the East countries.
We can not ignore the suffering of the Soviet Union, Poland, de la Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the other suffering countries, often forgotten because of the history silence, as result of the Stalinist period during which those returning from Nazis camps were again persecuted, imprisoned, killed, deported in camps of the Stalinist regime while the world was divided since 1945, and the Yalta conference as result of the cold war between capitalism and communism.
However, these facts do not justify putting on the same level crimes committed by the Nazis and those committed under the Stalinist regime. This would give to the History an excuse for the crimes committed by the Nazis. This would be an accident, episode of History - an explication maybe desired by the today politicians, for electoral reasons, to justify and as an excuse for the world.
Within this context, it must be required Dachau memorial, as other memorials in Germany, in Austria, in Poland, in Netherlands, in Belgium, in France and in the other countries pays are recognized as international memorials, ensure the protection and the history integrity of the et remains of these memorials, acting to preserve and managing these places in view of keeping the significance of these camps in their specificity and placed them under European and international protection.
With lucidity and discernment the legislature of the State of Bavaria confirmed to the International Dachau Committee, in the legal act establishing the Foundation of the Bavarian Memorials, a right of a historical perspective and a participation in the essential business of the Memorial. The members of CID ensure the respect of these rights which should not be subject of political issues.
The internationality should not be met on a secondary position; these places must be independent of national policies referred, regardless of their orientations, and not subject to electoral pressures. Politics and elected change with the elections. The Memorials should stay out of politics; these sites are not places of conflict and pressures.
Listen Jean Lassus, deported political resistant, arrested by Gestapo on 5-th June 1944 to Clermont-Ferrand, deported in the death train on July 1944 went away Compiègne, in France, quoted in the N°21 of the "Dachau Notebooks" (Cahiers de Dachau) dedicated to « deported Society » and published by the Doctor honoris causa Barbara Distel and Professor Wolfgang Benz :
„(...) Finally the train stops. (...)
All luggage were out of the wagons and thrown in the rain. We do not first understand whole. Then we got it. The Germans did not want to leave us with other. Understand - they wanted to separate – dead one a side, the living people on the other side. Because with us we had 65 dead we had more then a side, we had to carry them in the next wagon with ours.
We were eight. Two came out; four transported them from a wagon to another. And two of them raised on the other side. I was one of these two. I took 35 dead in wagon, by pulling the arms and legs. They were totally bloated, purple, and warm. To catch them, I put my hands in the sleeves of a beige pullover. Every time they are seized, their skin fell ragged around the wrists and we feel like gloves in hands.
Then Dachau. A dock. It is here that we really stopped. Dachau. I knew what is there. I read things on it before the war. The dock was a stable construction but not covered. On the other side, between us and the landscape, a single lane. And on this lane a track of train was stopped. A commuter train. Children were sitting in the train. Just in front of us, there were girls with their satchels schoolgirls, children on the way to school. They observed.
They saw how the wagons were opened. Not all the wagons. A crowd of beggars came out, the same shape as those who sleep on the benches in the streets (maybe not in Germany where this should be forbidden). With dirty clothes, four-day beards, thin, pale, confused. Naturally, some also have a bag of groceries. Others have strange package closed with string. The girls knew exactly what is about: convicted the waste that is brought to camp. The police was there to land them. SS who receive them are beautiful, distinguished, and proud. Men of a different quality. Another race. We can see here that Hitler was right. Others, these scoundrels must be Jews.
Scoundrels, Jews trying to make a good capacity. First to stand up straight and run. Having the air other than what they are. Another thing that expected I meet the eyes of a maybe twelve year old girl. Brown eyes on a large face. She doesn't close her eyes. Me neither. What is thinking this child?
We proceed moving. I turned to salute my first wagon. The wagon with bodies. With the common mass grave. And there, another wagon, completely closed, which runs a kind of liquid on the floor. Again another and another. I counted five. »
End of quote.
This is a story, just a testimony of the past, a man among thousands of men, women and children deported to Dachau, took from the world in this place where we are now to remember them, their fights and learn lessons.
Are we worthy today of the deportees' will, the oath survivors?
Today, we observe in various countries new tendencies of ostracism and discrimination, islamphobia rubs antisemitism:
- in the Netherlands, a politician wants less Moroccans in the country; a Netherlands football club, invited in Qatar for training, discriminated one of the Jewish sportive, because he was not accepted in Qatar ;
- in Germany, on note la growth of the party « Freiheit für Deutschland » (« Freedom for Germany »), active et virulent, who does not want a mosque in Stachus; a resurgence of antisemitism and racism in football stadiums, Macabi action fought by the action « Never again » in cooperation with the German football leagues we congratulate them for their fight against these tendencies.
We note that the Sinti and Roma are still excluded from our society, and this is unacceptable.
We must remain vigilant against new forms of exclusion, persecution, antisemitism, xenophobia and racism.
The most visible part of hate speech comes from the extremeD-right, particularly the NPD. According with the information from a study of MM. Decker, Kiess and Brähler from the Fondation Friedrich-Ebert, while in the west of Germany the percentage of the population supporting right-wing groups has declined with 7.6% in 2010 to 7,3% in 2011, this rate has increased dramatically in the east, from 10.5% to 15.8% in the same period.
"European Commission against Racism and Intolerance," ECRI welcomes the decision of the Bundesrat of December 14, 2012 to file a new formal request to ban this party.
In its report on Germany published April 25, 2014, ECRI regrets the failure in 2008 and 2012 two attempts of the Bundesrat to provide in Article 46 of the Criminal Code that racist motivation constitutes an aggravating circumstance, noting that the notion of racism is only slightly present in the jurisprudence and literature of criminal law. ECRI also recommends that the German authorities in all Länder create an independent authority to fight against racism and racial discrimination.
Dear friends, at the commemoration and celebration of freedom and remembrance, it is necessary to evoke some four thousand killed Soviet people in firing range Hebertshausen.
4000 Soviet prisoners of war - mostly officers, the communist officials and Jews were executed under the enforcement of the "order related to commissaries" (Kommissarbefehl).
This "Decree of Commissaries " - officially: "Directives for the treatment of political commissaries" – from June 6-th, 1941 is part of the violations of international law committed by the German army in its fight against the Soviet Union during the second World War. This decree enjoined not to treat political commissaries of the Red Army as prisoners of war but executed them without any trial. These "directives" were signed by General Alfred Jodl who headed the High Command of the Armed Forces (OKW). During the Nuremberg trial against the main war criminals, the International Military Tribunal found in its verdict against Wilhelm Keitel, Commander of the OKW : « May 12, 1941, five weeks before the invasion of the Soviet Union, the OKW stressed upon Hitler that he should give a directive that the High Command of the Army (OKH) to "liquidate" the political commissaries.»
Certain military commanders have expressed reservations against the decree of Commissionaires. To those, Wilhelm Keitel replied: « The reservations expressed correspond to the conceptions of the soldiery for a knight's war. Here it s about the extermination of a worldview that is why I approved and covered these measures. »
This brings us to the question of what is our conception of the world today and what or on what we can have satisfaction and what or on what we can not have it.
What is our conception of the world today in respect of the 4000 Soviets murdered?
We are ensuring that the international character of the Dachau memorial and its exterior camps is respected, ensuring that the component coming from different countries were originally deported prisoners in Dachau or matter of inclusion.
Let us remember the words of Jean Lassus, the 4000 Soviets slaughtered in Hebertshausen, very many deported and murdered here in Dachau and in the field camps.
Let's continue their fight: Let's be vigilant, the liberty is a precious good, let's avoid les tendencies nationalist, respecting la suzerainty des pays, let's to a difference between the Church and the State in the Montesquieu' spirit, respecting each others and let's be loyal au "Never again".
And make sure that we are not in a third world war dawn!
Thank you for your attention.
translation Serena Adler.