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Germany Commemorates Murdered Resistance Fighters

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: DEgov}



Remembering the murdered resistance fighters

The German government has commemorated resistance to the tyranny of the National Socialist regime with an official ceremony on 20 July. Exactly 71 years ago Graf von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators attempted to assassinate Hitler. The dictator survived, and the resistance fighters were executed.

It will always be our duty to keep the memories alive, says Monika Grütters. 

On behalf of the German government, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Minister of State Monika Grütters praised the attempt of the women and men loyal to Graf von Stauffenberg. Their effort to assassinate Adolf Hitler, 71 years ago was an attempt to end the terror and violence of the National Socialists. They were true to their convictions and were willing to risk their own lives, said Monika Grütters at the Plötzensee Memorial Center.

“They accepted their moral responsibility “

Numerous opponents of the National Socialist dictatorship were killed in the former prison in Berlin-Plötzensee. “They accepted their moral responsibility, while the silent majority closed their eyes, while others claimed to have no choice and no alternative. The conviction of the men and women who resisted National Socialism lives on in our democracy, which considers human dignity to be inviolable.”

Monika Grütters pointed to the enduring responsibility to keep alive the memories of what happened “even when, one day, there are no more eye witnesses who experienced these atrocities first hand”. The federal and state governments will work together to keep the authentic memorial sites as witnesses for the generations to come.

Keeping memories alive

Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and numerous representatives of the constitutional bodies of the Federal Republic of Germany and the state of Berlin also attended the official ceremony along with the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters.

After the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, welcomed guests, the remembrance speech was given by Axel Smend, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Memorial Foundation for July 20, 1944. Representatives of the constitutional organs of the Federal Republic of Germany and the state of Berlin and of the Memorial Foundation for July 20 July 1944 then laid wreaths and paid tribute to the victims of National Socialism.

Where the Plötzensee Memorial Center stands today, there was a prison and an execution place from 1933 to 1945. Almost 3,000 people were killed here, including many opponents of the National Socialists.


[photo credits – featured image: “Jsa ploetzensee torhaus” by Ahle, Fischer & Co. Bau GmbH. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –]



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