A street to be named after Fritz Bauer in Copenhagen
Hope for a more truthful memory of the courageous jurist in his homeland too
By Dr. Irmtrud Wojak
This news reached us almost in the middle of the summer break in North Rhine-Westphalia. Three renowned individuals, the jurist Finn Rowold, the journalist Michael Kuttner and the Scandinavia correspondent of the Frankfurter Rundschau, Thomas Borchert, have asked the municipality of Copenhagen to name a street after the former Hessian Prosecutor General Dr. Fritz Bauer. We at the Fritz Bauer Forum Bochum wish the initiative good luck and a speedy success.
The jurist Dr. Fritz Bauer always had good memories of his exile country, Denmark. Especially of the support he received from the Danish Social Democrats. This, incidentally, despite the persecution he experienced there during the German occupation, when Danish Nazis and collaborators accused him of homosexual contacts, in order to deport him and hand him over again to the Nazis, that is, send him back to the concentration camp.
A more than desirable side-effect of the initiative is that it finally corrects the claim made by the Fritz Bauer Institute and the author Ronen Steinke that it is necessary to discuss whether Fritz Bauer may have been homosexual. A few years ago, the Institute announced that it had long considered whether one should publicly discus this. Could one be any more awkward?
The rumor spreaders were taken in by the Danish Nazis. This has now been confirmed by Danish historian, Sina Maria Vinther, based on her research for the British-American journalist Jack Fairweather, who is writing a new Fritz Bauer biography. Likewise, for years the Institute has been spreading the rumor that Fritz Bauer submitted to the German Nazis with a signature in order to be released from the concentration camp. But no such Fritz Bauer signature exists. As if that were not enough, Bauer is also said to be a traitor because he informed the Israelis of the whereabouts of the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann. What was treasonous about this? What “serious disadvantage” did the external security of the Federal Republic of Germany suffer as a result? In what sense did this “aid and abet” Israel? There is no evidence for any of this either. The gay Jew and traitor to the nation, again and again this prejudice is bandied about. The people who repeat it gain access this way to the media. In this case, two new movies have been made about Fritz Bauer, both of which spread the same prejudice about him while generously forgiving him for his homosexuality, after all, paragraph 175 does exist…
Federal Minister of Justice (retd.) Professor Dr. Hertha Däubler-Gmelin, the former Attorney General Professor Dr. Erardo Rautenberg, the managing director of the federal network of civil commitment PD Dr. Ansgar Klein, the journalist and winner of the Villa Ichon Culture and Peace Prize in Bremen Kurt Nelhiebel, the cultural editor of the Weltexpresso in Frankfurt am Main, Claudia Schulmerich, the director Ilona J. Ziok (director of “Fritz Bauer – Death by Installments”) and others have, as has the author of this text, written for years in opposition to this Fritz Bauer rumor mill. The Fritz Bauer Forum in Bochum has been founded as a result of this. Why does an institute named, of all things, after Fritz Bauer persistently play to such right-leaning, nationalistic prejudices, which fuel the anti-Semitism that already exists? The answer to this can only be given by those responsible, when they finally have the courage to do so, and to correct their mistakes.
In Denmark a street is now to be named after the upright social democrat and anti-fascist Dr. Fritz Bauer, who fought openly against the National Socialists from the very beginning and was incarcerated in a concentration camp because of this; in Copenhagen, a new traveling exhibition of the Jewish Museum is being created in cooperation with the new refugee museum (“Flugt”) in Varde: These facts give hope, hope that also in Germany Fritz Bauer’s acts of resistence will finally be given the honest recognition and much overdue replication that they deserve.
Link to the article about the initiative in the Frankfurter Rundschau
There are many ways to participate in the establishment of the Fritz Bauer Forum and the Fritz Bauer Library. As Fritz Bauer said: “In the fight for the rights of man”!
You can buy books in the online store of the Fritz Bauer Forum, thereby supporting the project. Or you can organize events together with the Forum. It is intended to initiate open discussions about how a world memory can be promoted that is oriented towards the resistant actions of Fritz Bauer and human rights fighters in general.
Construction site of the Fritz Bauer Forum is progressing
The first construction phase with the conversion of the Havkenscheid Mourning Hall into the Fritz Bauer Library at our new address at Feldmark 107 in Bochum is proceeding rapidly. The heating system has been installed and now the concrete is being renovated, a complex undertaking for this landmarked property.
Visits and guided tours on the site
Recently, two artists visited the construction site: Dorothee Schäfer from Bochum, who is currently creating a work of art on the subject of resistance in Bochum, and the American Bradley McCallum (New York and San Francisco), whose works deal with trauma and resistance, collective history and individual memory. An engaged and imaginative conversation ensued about the emerging Fritz Bauer Forum and joint projects.
New upcoming dates on our events page
Or simply contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org