The city of Hamburg and the International Association of the Neuengamme concentration camp (AIN) agreed to install a commemorative plaque dedicated to the prisoners Jehovah’s Witnesses at the concentration camp memorial.
This plaque, affixed to a brick wall, carries the inscription: “Jehovah’s Witnesses (Bible Students) of the Neuengamme camp, 1940-1945.” It will be officially inaugurated on Sunday, April 23, 2006, at 3:30 pm in the camp memorial (behind the ” House of the Memory,” Jean Dolidier Street).
An information plaque on the grounds reads as follows :
“This memorial, dedicated in April 2006, commemorates the suffering and death in the Neuengamme concentration camp of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who were persecuted for religious reasons and were marked with the purple triangle on their prisoner uniforms. From 1940 onward, the SS forced them to assist in the construction of this camp and its barracks. Their uncompromising stand made Jehovah’s Witnesses a target of particular SS hatred, who isolated them for a time together with Jews in a penal-confinement barrack. This religious organization (International Bible Students Association) showed strong unity in refusing to comply with the demands of the National Socialists and by adhering to their faith. Amongst the more than 4,200 believers sent to National Socialist concentration camps, some 200 prisoners were imprisoned in Neuengamme. Almost half of them died here in the main camp and in satellite camps, or later in other camps. On May 3, 1945, over 30 Jehovah’s Witnesses perished with the sinking of a fleet of ships loaded with prisoners, in the Bay of Lübeck.”
The public ceremony will be preceded at 2 pm by a private meeting in the study center of the Neuengamme camp (1st floor, Jean Dolidier Street). Two camp survivors are scheduled to be interviewed during the one-hour meeting.