Excerpt from an article printed in the daily Bergdorfer Zeitung
“It’s our duty to remember!”
Yesterday Karin von Welck, Senator for Cultural Affairs, inaugurated a monument as a tribute to the memory of Jehovah’s Witnesses who were inmates of the Neuengamme concentration camp.
Witali Kostanda (left) and Richard Rudolph (right), survivors of the Neuengamme concentration camp with Senator Karin von Welck and historian Detlef Garbe, director of the Camp Memorial.
They refused military service and declined to raise their arm in Hitlerian salute. They lived according to strict Biblical principles during the darkest chapter in German history. They were Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Nazis sent more than 4,200 members of this group to concentration camps. Approximately half of the 200 Witnesses, who were inmates at the Neuengamme concentration camp from 1940-1945, succumbed to Nazi atrocities. Yesterday a monument to honour their memory was inaugurated at the Neuengamme Camp Memorial. (…)
“Jehovah’s Witnesses, who were hounded by the SS from 1933, were eyewitnesses of racial vanity and intolerance,” declared Karin von Welck. She added: “It is our duty to remember and take a stand. We don’t have the right to forget heinous crimes humans are capable of committing. I bow down before the victims whose memory we honour today.” (…)