Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Completely Different Kind of Work

When Hamburg had been bombed most severely in
1943, the homeless were provided with small houses,
built of cement modules.
Last night, our local government held a memorial hour for the victims of a Hamburg Concentration Camp. It was the prison for women who had been deported from Poland, Czekoslovakia and other occupied countries. I had the honor to provide a picture show of images shown during the speeches and the intermediate music pieces.
Some of these female prisoners had been taken to Hamburg
from Ravensbrueck, Auschwitz and other camps. Very few
survived and were able to tell their story. These women
built the cement houses in heat and cold, with insufficient
equipment -- no gloves to hold the heavy cement panels,
they were beaten, humiliated, and in the end transported
to even worse camps like Bergen-Belsen, where many of
them died even after they were freed.

The prisoners were close to starvation and kept dreaming
of bread, as one of the prisoner remembered after being
liberated. Their memories were read to the audience by
members of the local parlament, "Bezirksversammlung".
The President of the local parlament held a welcoming
A member of the Neuengamme Memorial held a historical
speech about the camp and the fate of one of the survivers
who was also present.
The music was played by the very young members
of the Felix Mendelssohn Youth Sinfonia Orchestra
(Felix Mendelssohn Jugendsinfonieorchester. I showed
a background picture for every piece of music.


The survivor, out guest of honor, spoke a few words to the audience, her host and interpreter (who had also held the historical speech) standing next to her.
This is my place, hidden behind the musicians, where I controlled the running picture show. Everything went as expected.

After the show, we were invited for a snack and wine. My nervosity faded.