The descendants of Holocaust survivors are protesting, hugely offended by the work to transform a Nazi torture center into flats. The protestors are accusing German authorities as well as Quantum Immobilien of irresponsibly and callously besmirching the memory of the victims who were tortured by the Nazis in the Hamburg Headquarters. The accusations include rage at an inadequate memorial that has been designed into the future living quarters. The protesters are not willing to give ground right now, unsurprisingly, and are using the slogan “Trade as an alternative to Commemoration? By no means!”
The Location. The development of the Nazi torture center in the Gestapo headquarters in Hamburg, Germany into flats is provoking fury and ire from the survivors’ descendants. The plans for a commemorative spot have reduced the area dedicated to these victims to a minimal, insulting amount of space.
Use. The location was used as the Hamburg headquarters of the Gestapo. For those unaware, the Gestapo were Nazi Germany’s secret police.
Stopover. People interred at the Nazi torture center were tortured and interrogated before being sent to concentration camps. These tortured victims did not always make it to the concentration camps.
The History. Germany has spent years trying to clearly distinguish themselves apart from the Nazi portion of their history. Though there are still reminders throughout the country, many of them have been removed and destroyed, but the real difference was in the show of commemoration for the victims.
Opposition. Clearly this development with lack of an appropriate commemorative space would not go over well. Protesters have gathered, many carrying photos and family memorabilia with them.
Inadequate Memorial. When the property was sold in 2009, it was recommended that a certain amount of space be dedicated as a memorial to the victims tortured inside the building. The currently planned memorial is a minute version of what was originally proposed.
Underdeveloped. Both the government and Quantum Immobilien are stating that the rebuild will bring life to an underdeveloped portion of the city. The protesters are furious, pointing out that an adequate memorial to those tortured on the site is not planned.
New Life. The consideration that the new flats would bring new life to that part of the city is not disputed. The descendants of the survivors are clear: the infusion of new life does not and should not preclude the inclusion of a memorial to those who lost their lives at the site.
Severe Thoughts. There have been accusations online that there is less and less effort being put into commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. The intention to cut corners has not been well received and this development is being seen as just another opportunity to do less than what the victims memories deserve.
Attractive Properties. The arguments of the protesters circle around the thought that regardless of the design and improved aesthetics, the bones of the building still hold the hatred that took and tortured the lives of a lot of people. The proper thing to do would be to give the due space to the victims.
The Victims. People interred at the Nazi torture center were tortured and interrogated before being sent to concentration camps. These tortured victims did not always make it to the concentration camps.
Norbert Hackbusch. One of the protesters was marching under the slogan “Commerce instead of Commemoration? Never!”
Comments. When interviewed by the Guardian Norbert said: “We’re talking here about nothing less than the central place in this city where people were taken to be tortured.” His sentiments were echoed throughout the protesting crowd.
Detlef Baade. The father of one of the protesters was tortured by Hamburg’s Gestapo in 1933. The protester, Detlef Baade, said “Nobody who was brought here for interrogation came out unhurt. We have a societal obligation to do this. We owe it to the dead.”
Your Thoughts. Do you think they are prioritizing the potential profits over the memorial? Should the development company and the German government revise the plans for a more respectable memorial space?
Source: Rebel Circus