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  5. Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019: Volkswagen employees commemorate victims of murder, persecution and forced labor

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Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019: Volkswagen employees commemorate victims of murder, persecution and forced labor

  • German Resistance Memorial Center, Berlin: opening of the IAC exhibition “Two Lives. Auschwitz and After.”
  • Hallenbad Cultural Center, Wolfsburg: artistic evening with impressions of memorial site work at Auschwitz
  • Volkswagen plant Wolfsburg: wreath-laying and film “Bei uns nichts Neues” to commemorate the victims of National Socialism
  • Representative Office of Saxony, Berlin: Memorial evening with dramatized reading “Ein Stück Wiese am Wald”
  • German Bundestag: youth encounter and ceremony commemorating 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
German Resistance Memorial Center, Berlin: Apprentice Tahnee Machowski (21) will speak at the opening of the IAC exhibition “Two Lives. Auschwitz and After.”

Over the next few days, the International Auschwitz Committee (IAC) and Volkswagen are commemorating the victims of murder, persecution and forced labor during the National Socialist dictatorship at remembrance events. Apprentices from Volkswagen’s plants at Dresden, Emden and Wolfsburg are also taking part in the events.

Last year, the budding specialists had taken part in the joint project, “Auschwitz – remembrance and future”, of the International Auschwitz Committee (IAC) and the Volkswagen Group. The young women and men helped to preserve the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Memorial Site. Now they are reporting in Berlin and Wolfsburg on what they learned from survivors about persecution, murder and survival in Auschwitz.

January 27, 2019 is the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Red Army. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, people throughout the world remember the persecution and extermination of the European Jews by the National Socialists and the victims of the Nazi reign of terror and racial fanaticism.

Beginning in Berlin: IAC exhibition “Two Lives. Auschwitz and After.“
At the start of the commemoration events, the exhibition “Two Lives. Auschwitz and After.” is to open in Berlin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23. In the IAC exhibition, two survivors of Auschwitz, Eva Fahidi, a Jew from Budapest, and Zofia Posmysz, a Catholic woman from Warsaw, report on their life after Auschwitz and on how they worked on their own life histories in an artistic and creative way.

At the exhibition opening, Tahnee Machowski (21), apprentice specialist in office management with Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, is speaking about encounters with eyewitnesses at the International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim/Auschwitz. The exhibition will be open daily until March 31 during the opening hours of the German Resistance Memorial Center at Stauffenbergstraße 13-14 in Berlin. There is no admission charge.

Volkswagen plant Wolfsburg: Sunday, January 27, wreath-laying to commemorate the victims of National Socialism, followed by the film “Bei uns nichts Neues”

Artistic evening of remembrance in Wolfsburg
The city of Wolfsburg and the IAC are holding an artistic remembrance evening at the cultural centre “Hallenbad – Kultur am Schachtweg“ on Thursday, January 26 (admission: 6 p.m.). The evening program is to be opened by the Mayor of Wolfsburg, Klaus Mohrs, and Gunnar Kilian, HR Board Member of the Volkswagen Group and Member of the Foundation Council of the International Youth Meeting Centre Oświęcim/Auschwitz. The evening will focus on Christoph Heubner’s dramatized reading “Vier Minuten, es ist nie zu Ende“ with actress Heide Simon and scenes illustrating Erich Kästner’s poem “Primaner in Uniform”, performed by Tanzendes Theater Wolfsburg.
Anna-Ida Heuer (20), apprentice motor vehicle mechatronics technician, and Dr. Andreas Kadnar (39), Finance Manager (both Volkswagen), will speak about their impressions and encounters at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp Memorial Site.

Wreath-laying at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Sunday, January 27, Volkswagen is commemorating the victims of murder, persecution and forced labor during the National Socialist dictatorship with a remembrance event at the Wolfsburg plant. The event begins at 2:30 p.m. at the memorial stone for victims of forced labor (Südstraße, entrance 2). Representatives of the company including plant manager Dr. Stefan Loth and Dieter Landenberger, Head of Volkswagen Heritage, members of the Works Council and the Young People’s and Apprentices Representative Committee will lay wreaths. The stone commemorates forced labor at the Volkswagen plant between 1940 and 1945.

Following the ceremony, the film “Bei uns nichts Neues” (2014) by Shimon Lev and Astrid Vehstedt will be shown in the Group Archive Forum. The Israeli artist and the German director and producer of the film will then be available for discussions. For people wishing to attend the event, access to the plant area will be available from 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 27 via the Sandkamp gate. External visitors (minimum age: 12) are requested to register by email to history@volkswagen.de with their forename and surname by Thursday, January 24, 2019 and to bring their identity cards with them.

Berlin premiere: dramatized reading “Ein Stück Wiese am Wald”
The Representative Office of the Free State of Saxony and the IAC are holding an artistic remembrance evening at the Representative Office, at Brüderstraße 11/12 in Berlin on Tuesday, January 29 (admission from 7 p.m.). The event will focus on the dramatized reading by Heide Simon and Hans-Jürgen Schatz of “Ein Stück Wiese am Wald”, by IAC Vice-President Christoph Heubner. During the evening, apprentices from Volkswagen will speak about their involvement in the care and restoration of Auschwitz Concentration Camp Memorial Site and their participation in the international youth encounter of the German Bundestag.

International youth encounter of the German Bundestag
At the invitation of the President of the German Bundestag, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, and the International Auschwitz Committee, two apprentices from Volkswagen are taking part in the international youth encounter from January 28 to 31, 2019: Tim Clauß (20), motor-vehicle mechatronics technician from Dresden and Anna Fahrenholz (23), technical product designer from Emden.

As the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is on a Sunday, the German Bundestag will be commemorating the victims of National Socialism on Thursday January 31. The main speech will be given by Prof. Dr. Saul Friedländer. The research work of the internationally renowned historian has focused on the history of National Socialism, especially the fate of the European Jews. The two apprentices from Volkswagen, Tim Clauß and Anna Fahrenholz, will be attending the Ceremony of Remembrance in the Plenary Chamber at the end of the youth encounter.