Memorial to victims of Münchmühle concentration camp

 

 

The memorial site at Münchmühle in 2008

The memorial site at Münchmühle in 2008

This week the Documentation and Information Centre (DIZ), at Stadtallendorf in Germany, opened an exhibition commemorating 25 years of the memorial site to Münchmühle.

This was the camp to which Clare Galambos Winter was sent from Auschwitz in August 1944, one of 1000 women, mostly Hungarian Jews, to provide slave labour in the munitions factories.

 

In The Violinist I have described their arrival:

Continuing their journey into Hesse, they arrived on 19 August at their destination, a village called Allendorf. To their surprise, they saw no grey rubble or any sign of war, but rather, neat houses and flower gardens. The trees were red and gold which was unusual in August, but they thought little of that as they walked a few kilometres through a ‘gorgeous’ pine forest to a small camp. Here too, flowers had been planted. It seemed like a dream.

Named Münchmühle after the nearby mill, their new camp had been converted from a forced labour camp to a concentration camp by surrounding it with a three-metre barbed-wire fence. Its new inmates noticed that it wasn’t electrified. The wooden huts had dry wooden floors and bunks. ‘On each bunk was a thin grey blanket … One light bulb hung in the middle of the ceiling. We felt as if we had landed in the Ritz.’

It was infinitely better than Auschwitz, but, as they soon realised, it was to be no holiday camp.

I visited Stadtallendorf in 2008 as part of my research for The Violinist. The help I received there from Fritz Brinkmann-Frisch and Lydia Hartleben at the Documentation and Information Centre (DIZ) was invaluable to my research for this important chapter.

SG_2008-06-04_062 SG_2008-06-04_067

Posted on 10th May 2013 in Books |Jewish Holocaust |Research

 

Sir Nicholas Winton to be Patron of New Zealand Children’s Holocaust Memorial

 

 

 

News from Vera Egermayer, former Honorary Consul of New Zealand to the Czech Republic, child survivor of Terezin, now leading project to build Children’s Holocaust Memorial in New Zealand – made of 1.5 million buttons each representing the life of one Jewish child lost in the Holocaust. 

‘I  have just had confirmation from his daughter that Sir Nicholas Winton will be honoured to be a patron of the New Zealand Children’s Holocaust Memorial. Having the support of Nicky Winton who has made such an outstanding contribution to humanity strengthens our resolve to get the Memorial built.’ 

Sir Nicholas’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize again this year received world-wide media coverage and was broadcast repeatedly on radio New Zealand.

Nicholas Winton will celebrate his 104th birthday on 19 May at his home in Maidenhead, England. His patronage of the New Zealand Children’s Holocaust Memorial will be part of the celebrations. Vera Egermayer has accepted the family’s invitation to attend.

 

from Vera Egermayer

Project Leader

New Zealand Children Holocaust Memorial

The project is under the auspices of The Holocaust Centre of |New Zealand (www.holocaustcentre.org.nz)   

 

Posted on 3rd May 2013 in Jewish Holocaust