"Birgit and Horst want a colourful Meck-Pomm, a colourful, open and tolerant Germany, without racism, without exclusion and without hate (...) They will not be driven out, they will not give up!"Bosse - Laudation at the presentation of the Eins Live Krone
Nationality at birth: Germany
Birgit Lohmeyer* 10. September 1958
Place of the fight for human rights: Jamel, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
Where did the story become known?
By whom did the story become known?
Musicians and Awards
2011 Paul-Spiegel-Preis für Zivilcourage des Zentralrats der Juden in Deutschland
2011: Botschafter der Toleranz von Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz
2011: Helden des Nordens 2011
2012: Bürgerpreis der deutschen Zeitungen
2015: Georg-Leber-Preis für Zivilcourage
2017: Preis „Das unerschrockene Wort“ vom Bund der Lutherstädte
2018: Preis für Popkultur für „Gelebte Popkultur“ (Jamel rockt den Förster)
2018: 1 Live Krone für das Jamel-rockt-den-Förster-Festival (Sonderpreis)
2019: Live Entertainment Award (Preis der Jury)
Literature (literature, films, websites etc.)
- Family environment
- Political attitude
Horst Lohmeyer and his wife Birgit defend democratic rights in a village full of neo-Nazis.
Horst Lohmeyer, Jamel (Germany)
“Right-wing terrorism is the most important challenge of the 21st century”
Horst Lohmeyer is actually an urban plant. He comes from Hamburg and for a long time he lived with his wife Birgit in the middle of St. Pauli. As a freelance artist and musician, however, he was never tied to one place. “Artistically, I was on ‘the mile’ a lot.” (“The mile” refers to the St. Pauli district of Hamburg.)
In 2004 Birgit and Horst Lohmeyer accomplished a lifelong dream. They took over a landmarked forest farm in an idyllic landscape on the Baltic Sea and turned their backs on the big city of Hamburg. But within a very short time the climate in the village changed. At first it was just one family with right-wing extremist views, but soon others followed. In the meantime, about 90 to 95 percent of the villagers belong to the Nazi scene, including families with children. The mood in the village became hostile to the Lohmeyers, and there were threats, insults, theft and damage to property. To counteract this, Birgit and Horst Lohmeyer organized a rock festival in their garden called “Jamel rockt den Förster” in 2007, against considerable objections from their right-wing neighbours. In 2010, a festival visitor was beaten up. In August 2015 the listed barn of the Forsthof was destroyed in an arson attack and burned out completely. Although the police and fire department found accelerants, the perpetrators could never be identified.
“Jamel rocks the forester”
But the Lohmeyers did not give up. With now prominent support especially from the band “Die Toten Hosen” the festival became bigger and more illustrious. It takes place every year in summer – still in the Lohmeyers’ big garden. The Lohmeyers received many awards for their moral courage, among others the Paul-Spiegel Prize (1) and the Georg-Leber Prize for civil courage and the “1Live Krone” and the “Live Entertainment Award”. They were declared “Ambassadors of Tolerance” and “Heroes of the North” by the Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance.
An interview with Birgit and Horst Lohmeyer was conducted in July 2019 and can be read on the Fritz Bauer Blog under the title “Right-wing terrorism is the greatest challenge in the 21st century” (Interview in German language).
Author: Daniela Collette
Photos: Birgit Lohmeyer and Horst Lohmeyer ©Mike Fischer; Stage design: Bosse ©Charles Engelke.
(1) Paul Spiegel (1937-2006) was a German journalist and entrepreneur. He was President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland) from 2000 until his death.
(2) Georg Leber (1920-2012) was a bricklayer and trade unionist, he was chairman of the German Social Democratic Party from 1964-1987.