Due to the situation, a silent commemoration had to replace the commemoration of the victims of the pogrom night at the seelhausplatz, which was usually carried out by the citizens of burg and the city. Here, where once stood the synagogue of the city of saale, the mayor and the clergy of both denominations as well as a small representative circle dedicated a memorial to the victims of this inconceivable event.
"It is regrettable that we cannot commemorate together with well over 100 people as in previous years. I am nevertheless grateful that we can – under the given circumstances – hold a full, official commemoration", according to mayor armin warmuth in the presence of his deputies elisabeth assmann and christian fenn.
From an eyewitness account, warmuth read out the events of the 9th anniversary. November 1938, when NSDAP groups of the sort vandalized the apartments of fellow jews and intimidated the neighbors, who watched in horror from behind the curtains. With bitterness they had to watch how even the almost blind old samuel sichel was led away to prison. The following day, the hordes threw religious objects from the hammelburg synagogue into the courtyard and smashed the tablet with the ten commandments.
As "spontaneous popular anger titled by the nazi propaganda, the assassination of a german diplomat in paris by a jewish youth was a timely event for the henchmen. The systematic disenfranchisement of the jews in germany was furthered, they had to surrender all their assets, jewish doctors were disbarred. The act of a single person was presented by the "volkischer beobachter" as follows: "every jew will be treated without mercy from the time of his birth." This was the signal for the worst genocide in the history of mankind.
"We have come together today to prevent the eyes of this barbaric truth from ever being closed to what ideologically blinded people can do. The hour of remembrance should show that we remember how it all began and where it led to", the mayor said, referring to the recent attacks in paris, nice and vienna, and in halle and hanau.
Echoing the words of german president frank-walter steinmeier, he called the racist terror "an attack on the heart of democracy that we will never accept". Recent events in germany, using the pandemic as a pretext for demonstrations and sending hate messages to politicians and scientists, are stirring people up and urging vigilance – even 75 years after the end of the second world war. In memory of the murdered jewish citizens who lived in the city, in untererthal, westheim and bonnland and as a "visible sign of reminder warmuth laid a wreath with the inscription "against forgetting" at the memorial plaque. With his thanks to pastor robert augustin and community advisor markus waite, who gave accompanying words and the blessing, he concluded with a tribute to arnold samuels, who passed away in august of this year.
He lived in kissinger strabe and at the age of eleven left his hometown with his parents. The family emigrated to the USA. Arnold returned to hammelburg several times, starting in 1945 as a U.S. Soldier. For his grandfather, samuel sichel, a memorial stone was erected in 1995 on the square of the same name. Last time in 2013 in his former home country, he was pleased about the development in germany in front of students of the frobenius high school. In his entry in the town’s golden book it is noted: "never forget what happened and how it happened – always work to ensure that it can never happen again"." Friedbert heckmann accompanied the commemoration with appropriate music. The night before, the citizens of burgenland had the opportunity to light candles on the seelhausplatz and say a silent prayer. Markus waite and maria heckmann read out the names of the victims, stefan eideloth provided the musical framework for the memorial service.