75th anniversary of the November 1938 pogroms and the events on 9-10 No-vember 2013 in Berlin
Berlin, 31 October 2013. As part of the Berlin Theme Year DIVERSITY DESTROYED, on 9 and 10 November Berlin will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the November 1938 pogroms. A city-wide appeal to clean the Stolpersteine - the commemorative paving stones - on 9 November, and the presentation of messages by young people at the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin on 10 November are among the many planned events.
INVITATION: 10 November, Brandenburg Gate
Climax and conclusion of the theme year
5 am - midnight: multimedia installation on Brandenburg Gate
6 pm to approx. 7 pm: “Diversity means Freedom” (opening)
“Never again with us. Diversity means freedom!” is the message being sent by thousands of young people in the theme year. Their original statements will be presented at the Brandenburg Gate as a multimedia presentation: A THOUSAND VOICES FOR DIVERSITY – a visible commitment to fight racism, intolerance, anti-Semitism, violence and exclusion.
Emotions – Pictures – Messages: Youths will be introducing their statements and films and, together with the witnesses from that time Margot Friedländer, Inge Deutschkron and Coco Schumann, they will be presenting a clear and impressive signal against forgetting. The responsibility for Germany’s vital culture of remembrance will be handed over symbolically into the hands of the young generation on this evening.
British star violinist Daniel Hope, who only recently travelled to Theresienstadt as part of making the film documentary “Refuge in Music” with jazz guitarist Coco Schumann, who will also be present on the evening, will be performing some musical highlights. All of the youths involved, all theme year partners, all Berliners as well as the public at large are very welcome to attend.
Since April 2013, school pupils have had the opportunity to take part in workshops and events dealing with the subject of “National Socialism” in relation to today’s diversity. The results includ-ed film clips made on mobile phones, short films and filmed statements. Taken together, the joint message is: “Never again with us! Nobody can take away our diversity, because diversity means freedom!”
With the support of the Friede Springer Stiftung, Berlin's Senator for Education, Youth and Sci-ence, Sandra Scheeres, and Secretary of State for Cultural Affairs, Andre Schmitz, called on students to create their statements in the classroom, in workshops and tours and even in their free time with the simplest of means. At www.unsereVielfalt.de over 3,000 of the entries can be viewed and will make up a significant part of the multimedia exhibition on display after 5 p.m. at the Brandenburg Gate.
In the joint project with partners of the Theme Year such as the Anne Frank Zentrum, the Deutsche Historische Museum, the Topography of Terror, the Stadtmuseum Berlin, the Founda-tion Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Centrum Judaicum, the Museums in Tempelhof-Schöneberg and many others, nearly fifty institutions provided resources free of charge.
From 1-9 November, passengers on all Berlin metro lines can view selected clips on the “Berliner Fenster” monitors.
9th of November: Appeal to take part in the “Clean the Stolperstein” activity. Join in!
“Berlin polishes the Stolpersteine” was the call from Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and the Stolperstein initiative for the 9th of November. Held on the 75th anniversary of the November pogroms, the event is an act of remembrance for the Berliners who were persecuted and deported.
In the Theme Year, the 5,000th Berlin Stolperstein was laid and the Stolperstein website, includ-ing an interactive city map, went online. The Theme Year projects make clear that the cultural rupture caused by the Nazi barbarism was not restricted to those places where today memorials stand but occurred everywhere, in front of every building in the city and in plain view of everyone. For the first time on 9 November, the Aktive Museum Faschismus und Widerstand in Berlin e.V. will organise numerous walks with the district Stolperstein initiatives. Details at: www.stolpersteine-berlin.de/de/aktuelles-termine.
And many publications will be available far beyond the theme year itself, for example, the accom-panying book titled “Stolpersteine in Berlin – 12 Kiezspaziergänge” (Berlin’s Commemorative Paving Stones – 12 Neighbourhood Walks”).
A number of events
Events of various kinds will commemorate these historic events until the end of December. On 9 November, the Protestant and Catholic churches invite guests to join them on the commemora-tive path Erinnern. Gedenken. Mitgehen. [Remember. Commemorate. Join Together.], while the Jewish Community of Berlin will be hosting a memorial event and wreath-laying for the victims of the November pogroms. An overview of the many events taking place until the end of the year can be found in the programme for the Theme Year as well as at www.berlin.de/2013.
9/10 November “Shop Window Campaign”
You can download the flyer for the "Shop Window Campaign" here.
With the “Shop Window Campaign” on the weekend of 9-10 November, Berlin merchants and retailers will commemorate the pogroms of 75 years ago and thus take a stand against intoler-ance, racism and anti-Semitism. By doing so, they will be supporting the objectives of the memo-rial events taking place that weekend.
The campaign is an initiative of the Handelsverband Berlin-Brandenburg e.V. (HBB) and Kul-turprojekte Berlin. With window transparencies made to look like broken shop windows, participating businesses draw attention to the riots of 1938 – at the Hackescher Markt, Tauenzienstraße/ Kurfürstendamm and Alexanderplatz. Informational materials will also be available in the stores taking part. A 64-page publication has been published for the occasion titled “Kristallnacht? Bilder der Novemberpogrome 1938 in Berlin” (The Night of Broken Glass. Images of the 1938 November pogroms in Berlin”).
Preliminary assessment: A successful Theme Year
The reasons for this year of commemoration, of remembrance, of warning and of active discus-sion are two historic events: the 80th anniversary of the Nazis' assumption of power on 30 Janu-ary 1933 and the 75th anniversary of the November pogroms of 1938. The Theme Year DIVER-SITY DESTROYED thus began on 30 January 2013.
A joint effort that united over 170 partners, the project combined a variety of approaches to span the chasm between the diversity destroyed by the Nazi regime to Berlin's new-found diversity as an international centre for artists, creative people and scientists from around the world.
Project partners included museums, clubs, associations, foundations, galleries, artists, theatres, archives, district governments as well as historical, documentation and memorial sites and private initiatives in Berlin.
Alongside the events staged by the project partners, the Theme Year also highlighted the biog-raphies of Berliners who shaped the cultural, economic and scientific life of Berlin in the 1920s and 1930 and were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. One objective of the Theme Year was to remember these individuals and return them to their rightful place at the heart of Berlin city life.
With the pillars of the portrait exhibition in Berlin's Lustgarten with 222 short portraits, the 11 city markers – groups of pillars at historical sites in Berlin – and the numerous project partner pillars, the biographical approach runs through the Theme Year like a thread connecting the various activities. It also generated interest among broad and new swathes of the public for the nearly 1,000 events put on by the project partners. The event formats range from exhibitions, discussion round tables and lectures to publications, film projects, city tours and walks as well as temporary art projects, multimedia collages, apps and theatre productions and will be staged through 31 December.
Since 31 January and through 10 November, the main hub for the Theme Year has been the portal exhibition for the Theme Year at the Deutsche Historische Museum, which has had more than 120,000 visitors from Germany and abroad so far. Interest in guided tours of the exhibition has been equally great. There have been over 425 public tours in German and English.
A visitor survey showed that the portal exhibition at the Deutsche Historische Museum as well as the portrait exhibition in the Lustgarten appealed to guests of every age, men and women, tour-ists and locals in equal measure. The interest of foreign visitors has also been substantial; during a two-week survey period, interviews were conducted with visitors from 41 different countries.
The project has also focused public attention on some historical sites for the first time, such as the Nazi history of Schwanenwerder island, the former labour and correctional facility in Rum-melsburg, the forced labour camp in Kaulsdorf, the torture chamber in Papestraße and the Kö-penicker Blutwoche Memorial Site.
Information and continuity
The Theme Year “Diversity Destroyed” started in January 2013 with roughly 120 projects part-ners, and quickly grew to include over 170. All were actively involved in the communication effort. Every partner received a presentation of its project on the internet and published its events there as well as in the Theme Year programmes. A series of project partner postcards were developed that were distributed at countless locations in Berlin, from the city library to the Berlin Tourist Info office at the Brandenburg Gate.
The internet was and remains the central medium for Theme Year communications. From the more than 1,300 pages of information, many of which are also available in English, content of a more permanent character will remain accessible at www.berlin.de. Among the content to be retained online is historical background data gathered in the course of research as well as the now over 360 biographies, which can be expanded in the future. This also applies to the Stolperstein portal, which first went online during the Theme Year. Through September 2013 there were some 360,000 visits to the website – an average of 40,000 per month.
During the Theme Year, a number of event-related publications were released including the books mentioned above. The theme year also brought out its own book titled “Zerstörte Vielfalt. Berlin 1933–1938–1945. Eine Stadt erinnert sich” (“Diversity Destroyed. Berlin 1933–1938–1945. A City Remembers.), which has a biographical focus.
Journalists in the city receive current information on an almost daily basis. Posters and other forms of communication in central areas of the city directed attention to the Theme Year at different times throughout the year and tied the activities together with a high recognition value. Special thanks go to WALL AG for their support.
The Berlin Theme Year 2013 is an initiative of the State of Berlin coordinated by the state-run organisa-tion Kulturprojekte Berlin. This year of commemoration, admonition, remembrance and active discussion is supported by funds from the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin and the Capital Cultural Fund. It is also conducted in cooperation with other partners and sponsors.
Press contact: Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH, Themenjahr 2013, Klosterstr. 68, 10179 Berlin,
Tel. 030-24749 831, email@example.com, www.berlin.de/2013, Date: Oct. 2013