Buchenwald Memorial Mittelbau-Dora Memorial Museum Zwangsarbeit im NS

Commemorative event for the 78th anniversary of the liberation

17.04.2023, 13:00 PM‒14:00 PM


KZ-Gedenkstätte Mittelbau-Dora, rekonstruierte Unterkunftsbaracke

11 am

78 years ago, on April 11, 1945, the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp was liberated by American troops. This year, this date coincides with the Jewish holiday of Passover, for which reason the commemorative event will take place on Monday, April 17. It will begin at 11 am in the reconstructed accommodation barrack of the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp memorial. A wreath-laying on the square in front of the crematorium will follow. 

After a greeting by the director of the memorial, Dr Karsten Uhl, Minister of State Carsten Schneider, Parliamentary State Secretary for East Germany, will give a welcome address. Afterwards, Birgit Pommer, President of the Thuringian Diet, and Petra Rosenberg, chairwoman of the State Association of German Sinti and Roma Berlin-Brandenburg, will deliver commemorative speeches. Ferenc Snétberger will frame the event musically with variations over themes from his concerto for guitar and orchestra “In Memory For My People.” The Minister-President of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, several Thuringian state ministers as well as the French ambassador have confirmed their attendance. 

Three survivors of the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp are expected at the commemorative event: Jerry Wartski, Albrecht Weinberg, and Itzhak Dove. Jerry Wartski was born into a Jewish family in Poland in 1930. He and his family were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 from the Łódź Ghetto, where they had been forced to live since 1942. His mother was murdered in the gas chambers there. He, his brother, and his father had to perform forced labor. In January 1945, an evacuation transport took them to the Boelcke barracks subcamp of the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp in Nordhausen. His father starved to death there. The brothers, however, lived to see the liberation by the Americans on April 11. After the war, Jerry Wartski emigrated to the United States. During his visit, Jerry Wartski will inaugurate a plaque in memory of his father in the former crematorium. 

Albrecht Weinberg was born into a Jewish family in Eastern Frisia in 1925. In April 1943, he was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp, where he had to perform forced labor. His parents were murdered in Auschwitz. An evacuation transport brought Albrecht Weinberg to the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp in January 1945. When that camp was in turn evacuated in April 1945, the SS transferred him to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where he was liberated on April 15, 1945. In 1947, he emigrated to the United States with his sister Friedel, who had also survived the concentration camps. In 2011, the siblings returned to Eastern Frisia. Albrecht Weinberg has dedicated himself to fostering an engagement with the Nazi past there and regularly meets with school groups.  

Itzhak Dove was born into a Jewish family in 1928 in a part of Hungary that today belongs to Romania. He was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in May 1944 and that same month was transferred on to the Volkswagen factory in Fallersleben with a group of 300 Hungarian Jews. After the bombardment of the Volkswagen factory in June, they were sent to the Tiercelet subcamp of the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in Lorraine. When that camp was evacuated in September, the SS brought the Jewish inmates to the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp. In the course of the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp’s evacuation in April 1945, Itzhak Dove came to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which was liberated by British troops on April 15. He emigrated to Israel via Sweden and today lives in Haifa. 

“Dora” was founded as a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp in the summer of 1943 in the course of the relocation of missile production to tunnel systems near Nordhausen that were sheltered from air raids. Later, further underground relocation projects were added. Inmates had to perform forced labor above all for the expansion of underground production facilities. For their accommodation, the SS erected new subcamps near the various projects, which were consolidated into the now independent Mittelbau concentration camp in the fall of 1944. Consisting of nearly 40 camps, it stretched across the entire Harz at the end. In total, 60,000 people from almost all European countries – especially from the Soviet Union, Poland, and France – passed through this system of camps. At least 20,000 of them did not survive this. The annual day of remembrance is held in memory of them. 

An event organised by the Buchenwald and Mittelbau Dora Memorial Foundation in cooperation with the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Thüringen.

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