On 29 June 2022, at the invitation of the Second President of the National Council Doris Bures, the Mauthausen Committee Austria and the Austrian Lagergemeinschaft Mauthausen, the Hans Maršálek Prize was awarded for the third time at Palais Epstein. Outstanding achievements in the field of commemoration, remembrance and awareness raising were honoured.
The prize is awarded in memory of the contemporary witness Hans Maršálek, who dedicated his life to researching and documenting the history of the Mauthausen concentration camp and its subcamps. The Chairman of the Mauthausen Committee Austria, Willi Mernyi, hosted the award ceremony.
A few weeks ago, I was asked by Sonja Roth, Uta Kühl and Sandra Wachtel if I wanted to accept the certificate of recognition for the remembrance project “Space to Remember” at Neuengamme Concentration Camp, as none of the award winners from Germany could travel there. Of course I agreed immediately.
Since then I have been in contact with the people from Hamburg by phone and have been dealing with the “Space to Remember” remembrance project and Neuengamme Concentration Camp: relatives of inmates and visitors to Neuengamme Concentration Camp can design and print posters for former inmates. The “Space to Remember” consists of an on-site presentation in the form of printing plates and a poster wall, a printing workshop and a website with a digital archive. The posters can be put up in (permitted) public places, for example. Passers-by thus learn about the biographies of inmates of Neuengamme concentration camp. In other words, making visible and commemorating in public space.
Uta Kühl, treasurer of the Amicale Internationale KZ Neuengamme and daughter of survivor Hermann Kühl, explains why the “Space to Remember” is so important for the relatives: “For a very, very long time I felt alone. Alone with my anger. Alone with my grief. Alone with my will to fight for a “never again”. Knowing other family members, sharing, keeping the memory alive together, being vigilant and fighting for “never again” gives me strength, confidence and determination.”
I can understand Uta, I feel similarly! Never again!
The working group Space to Remember applied for the Hans Maršálek Prize for 2022 with the project “Space to Remember” and was successful in convincing the jury of the merits of the project. The project was awarded a certificate. Unfortunately, no one from the project group was able to attend the award ceremony. Thanks to the help of Sandra Wachtel, it was possible to win Dr. Jasmin Freyer on behalf of the project group to receive the certificate at the award ceremony. Dr. Freyer is a member of the board of the Jewish Community Vienna (IKG Wien). The working group would like to thank Dr. Freyer as well as her husband and Sandra Wachtel for receiving and sending the certificate and for their great commitment!