Fischerhude does not want to forget the names of the victims

In February 2013, Gunter Demnig laid two stumbling blocks in Eckstever. They are reminiscent of Heinz Kehne and Alfred Schmidt: in the final days of the war in April 1945, the young soldiers were summarily shot by a Wehrmacht commando in Eckstever because they had defected from their company.

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Fischerhude – “What should not be repeated must not be forgotten” – that sees Fischerhude’s mayor Wilfried Mittendorf just like the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was quoted by him. In order to give the local culture of remembrance a new impetus, Mittendorf wants to have so-called stumbling blocks laid. The brass commemorative plaques embedded in the floor in front of the last place of residence are intended to commemorate by name the persecuted and murdered resistance fighters, Jews and forced laborers who the Nazi regime deported from Fischerhude and Quelkhorn to prisons and concentration camps between 1936 and 1945.

The stumbling blocks are an internationally renowned project by the Cologne artist Gunter Demnig, standardized according to fixed criteria. Since 1992, Demnig has laid tens of thousands of stumbling blocks in Germany and around 30 other European countries, commemorating the victims of National Socialism by name.

Based on local historical historiography, Mittendorf named twelve people for Fischerhude and Quelkhorn who should be commemorated with stumbling blocks. At its meeting on Thursday evening at Gasthof Bellmann, the local council of Fischerhude unanimously approved Mittendorf’s request for Gunter Demnig to move commemorative plaques, with one abstention. After the fundamental decision, discussions about the implementation in detail are to follow. The project is to be financed through donations and sponsorships.

The mayor hopes that the stumbling blocks will keep people stumbling over the fates of the Nazi victims and keep their names in mind. “It is very important to me to commemorate her,” emphasized Mittendorf. And the Talmud says: “A man is not forgotten until his name is forgotten.”

Erika Janzon (Greens) supported the project: “There cannot be enough forms of memory for the people who were persecuted and murdered.” For Holger Unnasch (SPD), the stumbling blocks are vivid history lessons: It becomes visible and understandable that the Nazis did not only killed in Berlin or other cities, “but also here in the country”.

Cornelia Wolf-Becker (Greens) recalled the two stumbling blocks laid in Eckstever in 2013 – the first in the community, which should now be followed by others in Fischerhude: “We want that here too.”

Dirk Gieschen (CDU) thought the project was “basically good” – but only in cooperation with the respective residents. The implementation requires a sure instinct. Stumbling blocks are usually placed on the public sidewalk in front of the last residence of the people they commemorate. Not all of today’s residents wanted that, Gieschen announced.

The local council also approved an additional warning plaque on Cato-Bontjes-van-Beek-Weg near the Fischerhuder church. Ludwig Schwarz (Greens) applied for the plaque “in memory of all people who were murdered, expelled, deported, forced into forced labor or driven to suicide during the National Socialist era”. The board on Cato-Weg, which is frequented by many pedestrians and cyclists, is a “good addition” to the stumbling blocks, SPD spokesman Unnasch summed up the general tenor. The exact wording is now to be fine-tuned and the best positioning of the reminder board determined.

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