Germany Remembers Bergen-Belsen Liberation with Moment of Silence
April 17, 2020
This week, Germany held a minute of silence to commemorate the 75thanniversary of liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp according to the American Jewish Congress.
Physical events that were originally set to commemorate the liberation (April 15, 1945) have been postponed for the following year in April 2021. The memorial site of the camp is currently closed because of coronavirus pandemic. Some of the speeches from survivors and dignitaries will instead be given online.
Over 50,000 people died at Bergen-Belsen during the Holocaust, including Anne Frank. The camp is located in what is currently known as Lower Saxony region of northern Germany.
Lower Saxony state premier, Stephan Weil, called on all Germans to observe the silence and urged them to put aside their current concerns related to the coronavirus to honor the memory of Holocaust victims.
“For us in Lower Saxony, Bergen-Belsen is the place that shows us the cruelty and mercilessness of the darkest part of our history.” Said Weil.
According to The Times Of Israel, Jens-Christian Wagner, head of Lower Saxony’s memorial foundation, said the cancellation of the memorial was “very, very big disappointment” for Bergen-Belsen survivors, who hope to travel to Germany from around the world for the occasion.
Thuringia authorities, the state where Bergen-Belsen is located, also published online a “Declaration of Thuringia.” The declaration sounded the alarm that “racism and anti-Semitism are openly propagated,” in the state and “right-wing radicalism and authoritarianism are on the rise.”