The year 2013
2013 was the year of the postponed start of the NSU trial in Munich. At that time, the survivors of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) had already experienced years of destruction of evidence and distortions of their history. Like the many other survivors of the racist attacks, they suffered the same fate as the Holocaust survivors after 1945. Victims were made perpetrators and blamed for the attacks, often defamed.
2013 was also the year of the foundation of the “Alternative for Germany” (Alternative für Deutschland/ AfD), which calls the commemoration of the crimes of the Nazi regime in the form of the Holocaust Memorial a disgrace.
The dismantling of the Attorney General Dr. Fritz Bauer
Also in 2013, the public dismantling of the lawyer and Auschwitz prosecutor Dr. Fritz Bauer began. As a Social Democrat he had resisted the Nazis, who locked him up in a concentration camp in 1933. Later he fought for survival in exile and, after his return to Germany, brought the crime of Auschwitz, Nazi medicine and Nazi justice, the crimes of the Wehrmacht and the police to trial.
From 2013 onwards, it was publicly claimed that Bauer had not stood by his principles. He had bowed to the Nazis in 1935 in order to be released from the concentration camp. After 1945, he had cowardly betrayed his Jewish origins by calling himself “without faith”. Allegedly he wanted to escape the still existing anti-Semitism. He had become a traitor to his country by extraditing the deportation specialist Adolf Eichmann to Israel. Moreover, he had betrayed himself by not committing himself to homosexuality.
In the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, the criminologist and Attorney General of Brandenburg, Prof. Dr. Erardo Rautenberg, decisively rejected “the dismantling of Attorney General Dr. Fritz Bauer”. It was nevertheless filmed under the title DER STAAT GEGEN FRITZ BAUER.
Outraged by this falsification of history, Dr. Irmtrud Wojak, who published the first biography of Bauer in 2009, championed the work of the courageous resistance fighter. The same applies to the director Ilona Ziok with her film FRITZ BAUER-TOD AUF RATEN, the journalist and culture and peace prize winner of Villa Ichon Kurt Nelhiebel, the former Federal Minister of Justice Hertha Däubler-Gmelin and the Managing Director of the Federal Association of Civic Engagement Dr. Ansgar Klein.
A Fritz Bauer Archive, Library and Blog
The lawyer Bauer had made the “Never again!” of Holocaust survivors after 1949 his life’s work. Against this background, Irmtrud Wojak, supported by Irmgard Schmidt and Jens Mittelsten Scheid, founded the BUXUS STIFTUNG in 2013. The first thing she did afterwards was to initiate a Fritz Bauer Archive to collect books and documents on the life and work of the lawyer and to evaluate his work. A website was launched, the fritz-bauer-archiv.de.
The BUXUS FOUNDATION’s work focuses on the “Right to the Truth” and the “Right to Information” as individual human rights. The same goes for the tireless fight against the impunity of genocide and violent crimes, to which survivors such as Fritz Bauer, Raphael Lemkin and Benjamin Ferencz felt committed.
Irmtrud Wojak developed the idea of the interactive “Fritz Bauer Library” with a database programmed especially for this purpose. This database, with its stories of resistance and survival, has been online since 2019, is being further expanded and tested in schools. Anyone can now upload survival stories of human rights fighters on the net and send them to the editorial team, who will contact the authors to publish them.
At the same time, a Fritz Bauer Blog has been set up, so that since 2017 a platform has been in place that makes it possible to document individual stories in an up-to-date and timely manner.In this way, a global network “In the fight for human rights” (F. Bauer) is being created.
Fritz Bauer Forum – 2020…
The idea of bundling the commitment in the spirit of the famous lawyer through an international Fritz Bauer Forum / Research, Educational and Media Center for Human Rights was born in 2019, and it is thanks to the commitment of the architect Rainer Tönnes from Essen that a property that appears suitable for this purpose was soon found. This is a former depot of the city of Bochum and a former funeral parlour connected to it, fascinating in its design. Whether and how this project can be realized and financed at this location is a task that must be solved in 2020.
Photo: Header ©Von Dontworry – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12183187