#everynamecounts – everywhere. This is the motto of a campaign focusing on “Local Remembrance” which the Arolsen Archives launched on May 8 to mark the anniversary of the end of the Second World War. This campaign aims to increase the visibility of small memorial sites and initiatives and to give them a voice to promote the valuable and important work they do.
The systematic persecution of millions of people took place in many different locations, it was not hidden away: sites of persecution, terror, and exploitation could be on your doorstep. When memorial days are celebrated each year, media attention and media reporting focus on the large memorials on the sites of former camps. This has the effect of reinforcing the mistaken belief that Nazi crimes were limited to a few central locations.
The vast majority of the countless concentration camp sub-camps, forced labor camps, prisoner-of-war camps, and other sites of persecution, terror, and exploitation receive little or no attention from the media. We give small memorial sites and initiatives the opportunity to use the various channels of the Arolsen Archives to reach out to a larger audience.
We would like to thank our partner, the Alfred Landecker Foundation, for their valuable support and sponsorship.
Would you like your memorial site to be part of the campaign? This is what we can do:
- Social media take-over days to give you the opportunity to present your organization on the social media channels of the Arolsen Archives.
- As part of our cooperation, organizations that participate can also profit from the digital infrastructure of the Arolsen Archives and become part of the digital memorial.
Take a look at this example from the Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Walpersberg e.V to get an idea of how you could present your own memorial on our social media channels:
Original documents from the REIHMAG armaments works in Kahla, Germany. Copyright: Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Walpersberg e.V.
Maps, photos, and diaries – the Arolsen Archives are digitizing a large collection of original documents from the REIMAHG armaments works in Kahla for the Walpersberg Memorial Association, the “@Mahn- und Gedenkstätte Walpersberg e.V.”
These documents provide important information about the forced laborers who were made to work in armaments production there: Who were these laborers? Where did they come from, and how were they accommodated?
This project resulted from the work we have been doing in cooperation with Patrick Brion. Since 1993, he has been working tirelessly with the Memorial Association to research the history of the REIMAHG works in Walpersberg. At least 12,000 forced laborers had to build Messerschmitt jet fighters in an underground facility in the REIMAHG (short for “Reichs Marschall Hermann Göring”) between 1944 and 1945.
“The work our #everynamecounts volunteers do to index documentary holdings from smaller camps is very valuable for memorials and memorial initiatives. People will soon be able to search specifically for this data in our online archive and gain new insights into the history of Nazi persecution.”
We are all part of #everynamecounts. Together we are working to build a memorial to the victims of Nazism, and we are taking an active stand against antisemitism, racism, and discrimination. The larger our community gets, the stronger we grow!
Who is already on board?
These memorial sites and initiatives are already taking part and introduced themselves to you in the weeks following May 8:
- KZ-Gedenk- und Begegnungsstätte Ladelund (Ladelund Concentration Camp Memorial and Meeting Center)
- Geschichtswerkstatt Sachsenburg e.V. (Sachsenburg History Workshop)
- Gedenkstätte Walpersberg e.V. (Walpersberg Memorial)
- Gedenkstätte für Zwangsarbeit Leipzig (Memorial for Forced Labor Leipzig)
- Gedenkstätte Ehrenhain Zeithain (Zeithain Memorial Grove)
- Erinnerungsort Penig (Penig Place of Remembrance)
- Denkort Bunker Valentin (Bunker Valentin Memorial)
- Gedenkstätte Lager Sandbostel (Sandbostel Camp Memorial)
- Initiative von Lokalhistoriker*innen in der Gemeinde Kutenholz (Initiative of local historians in the Kutenholz community)
- KZ-Gedenk- und Dokumentationsstätte Porta Westfalica e.V. (Porta Westfalica Concentration Camp Memorial and Documenation Site)
Even if assistance with digitizing documents is not what you need, this campaign can still benefit your memorial directly. What are the most important features of your memorial? Let us know more about your work – we are looking forward to helping you be a part of the campaign.