Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen


Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum

Statement by the collective "New Voices of the Next Generations": Ukraine's sacrifice must not be in vain

17. March 2022

Statement by the collective "New Voices of the Next Generations" on the war in Ukraine. The collective was founded out of a project of the memorial and is made up of descendants of former prisoners of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Ukraine’s sacrifice must not be in vain

While the world is staring at Ukraine with horror and despair, we, descendants of concentration camp prisoners, both survivors and deceased, feel the urge to express our abhorrence of war and all other infringements on human rights across the world.

Growing up within families that never truly overcame the experience of war and persecution, war has always been, and is still, a lively reality we are confronted with on a daily basis.

Today, almost eighty years after the end of World War Two, we still bear the consequences in our flesh and our soul, haunted by a conflict we never experienced personally, and try to break the curse trauma represents in order to preserve generations to come.

More importantly, we also learned to carry all the weight of remembrance on our shoulders, realising we are the living memory of the victims.

We are simply mortified to see that humankind does not learn from its own history and, once again, fails to live up to the promise: Never again.

War today means planting altered seeds for our collective future, because it does not only create chaos and misery, but lives on, even after the end of the conflict, in the trauma future generations inherit.

Throughout the history of humankind, conflict has unfortunately always been the rule and not the exception; but war is not a natural disaster, and we are not condemned to endlessly repeat the mistakes of the past.

That is why we all share a common responsibility to stop the cycle of violence, whether verbal or physical: War should not be the end of history, but rather the beginning of a better future, at last.

Over the last decades, humankind has achieved great technological progress: We landed on the Moon and we are soon on our way to Mars. It would be high time to finally learn how to live peacefully together on Earth.

We owe it to the younger generations, because we know what price they will pay if peace fails to prevail.

From the bottom of our heart, we solemnly call upon every good willing person on this planet to make a pledge for peace and freedom across borders, so that they do not remain empty words, but become lived and shared values, always and forever.

The collective “New Voices of the Next Generations”

Danielle Chaimovitz – Tallinn, Estonia.
Anouk Focquier – Antwerp, Belgium.
Martin Kubicek – Prague, Czech Republic.
Mischa Lemaire – Amstelveen, The Netherlands.
Elias Mendel – London, Great-Britain.
Amélie Reichmuth – Stockholm, Sweden.

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