Stolpersteine in Hameln
Die fünfte Stolpersteinverlegung in Hameln am 27. September 2018 - eine Fotogalerie
Bei der fünften Stolpersteinverlegung am 27. September 2018 verlegte Gunter Demnig in Hameln an drei Stellen insgesamt zehn Steine.
Vier Steine für Familie Birnbaum
Fünf Steine für Familie Blank
Ein Stein für Willy Nega
Die Besonderheit dieser Verlegung war, dass zahlreiche Angehörige angereist waren.
Für Familie Blank waren zehn Personen aus Großbritannien und den USA angereist.
Für Willy Nega hatten sich zwölf Personen aus Großbritannien und Deutschland auf den Weg gemacht.
Die Schicksale der Ermordeten und Vertriebenen lasen Schülerinnen und Schüler
einer zehnten Klasse des Viktoria-Luise-Gymnasiums mit ihrer Lehrerin Katharina Zabel.
Für die Stadt Hameln begleitete Frau Bürgermeisterin Karin Echtermann die Verlegung.
Empfang der Stadt Hameln im Hochzeitshaus
Rede von Geoffrey Harris anlässlich der Stolpersteinverlegung für seine Angehörigen im Hochzeitshaus
"Frau Bürgermeisterin Echtermann, Herr Gelderblom, Frau Maria Bergmann, Family Nega who are sharing this momentous and emotional event, our family and friends, guten Morgen and thank you all for being here and earlier at the very special ceremony that took place at my mother’s childhood home. Extraordinarily, the house looks exactly as it did in the photos I have from the 1930’s when she lived there.
I apologise for switching to English after only two words of German, but if life had been different, I would have been fluent and living in this beautiful town.
For those who don’t know me, my name is Geoffrey Harris and I am the grandson of Mr and Mrs Albert Blank, the original owners of 21 Kaiserstrasse.
I should particularly like to thank Herr Bernhard Gelderblom for organising this event that is so important to our family, and indeed for all the vital and difficult work that he has undertaken over many years. My thanks to Bürgermeisterin Echtermann, for lending the dignity of her office to the proceedings, and also for kindly hosting this reception in the wonderful Hochzeitshaus building.
My thanks also to Herr Gunter Demnig, the artist, for his creativity in designing the subltle and poignant reminders. I must mention Mr and Mrs Weise, the owners of 21 Kaiserstrasse: they have been very understanding, hospitable and welcoming, and that is much appreciated by the family.
My mother, Eva Blank, was the eldest of the three Blank daughters, and her life in Hameln was only for her first fifteen years, which I believe from photos, was a joyful time before history intervened. She attended the Hermannschule and then the Lyceum which I believe is now the very same Victoria-Luise-Schule. She was an extraordinarily brave and lovely person and although she died 16 years ago, my sister Barbara and I still miss her.
Our dear grandparents Albert and Louise Blank lived here happily, with my mother and her sisters, until 1934. Albert owned and operated a carpet factory here in Hameln at the building now called “Hefehof”. In the face of increasingly difficult political conditions and with much forethought, he had no option but to sell the business, left his beautiful house and departed on the hazardous journey for England. Fortuitously they made it all the way to London.
His intuition made it possible for generations to follow, and we now stand before you as evidence of that fact. With me are my wife Deborah and sons, Dan and Ben. Their children, my grandchildren, have just returned to school in London after the long summer and so can’t be with us. My sister Barbara’s daughter Katya and her family are with us today. My cousins Yvonne and Roland are the children of my mother’s sister, Hilde Blank, and they are accompanied by Yvonne’s husband Paul. We have many absentees from the proceedings, the most disappointing of which is my sister Barbara who is indisposed.
The outcome for many members of our extended family was sadly different. Many met their demise in the camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau; and therefore we say “Never Again”. We are grateful that the Blank’s difficult decision to leave was made, and today we remember and celebrate them for that fact.
It is all too sad that in Europe and especially in the UK, the black clouds of intolerance and prejudice that have never really gone away, seem to be getting even darker by the day. For that reason, it is especially important that the next generation, which I am pleased were represented by the wonderful children of Viktoria-Luise-Schule, are here to learn about those events.
Thank you all again."
Text: Bernhard Gelderblom
Fotos: Olaf Piontek und Joachim Schween