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Dietlind Kautzky / Thomas Käpernick (Eds.)

“My fate is but one of many thousands”

The Death March from Hamburg to Kiel 1945
Nine Biographies

192 Seiten | Hardcover | Photos | 2020 | EUR 20.00
ISBN 978-3-96488-091-8


Short text: This book tells the life stories of people who were forced onto a death march from Hamburg to Kiel in Germany in April 1945 at the end of WW2. The volume also contains a historical overview and a list of 235 known participants on this death march.

Original german version

Inhalt & Leseprobe:

VSA_Kautzky_Kaepernick_Death_March_1945.pdf380 K

At the end of WW2 the Hamburg Gestapo (secret police) cleared the
police prison Kola-Fu in Hamburg. Starting on 12 April 1945, 800 priso­ners, divided into several groups, were driven in four days of forced marches to the ”Arbeitserziehungslager Nordmark“. This euphemism translates into a so-called work education camp. It was located in Hassee, a suburb of Kiel, 80 kilometers away. Some prisoners were shot during the march, some more died after arriving in Kiel due to the ordeal and the malnutrition they suffered when on the march.

The biography group whose research has produced this volume is in close contact with relatives of some people who were part of this ordeal. So far they have placed commemorative tablets at five places, to honour the memory of those murdered on this march.

“In confronting the past, a process of knowledge emerges that grasps the human depth of history and determines how we can act. In view of the terrible racist offences in recent times, this is more important than ever.“ (Daniel Günther, Minister-President of the State of Schleswig-Holstein in a foreword)

The editors:

Thomas Käpernick, born 1967 in Kiel. As a freelance historian, guide and journalist, he works for the Neuengamme and Kaltenkirchen concentration camp memorial sites. In addition, he is actively involved in the politics of remembrance, e.g. on the board of the Neuengamme Association.
Dietlind Kautzky, born in 1950, has worked as a teacher for economy/politics and physics.

Both of them are involved in the biography group which wants to get to know the stories of the victims of the death march and make them known. Many of the authors are active in local remembrance initiatives, others write as relatives of the persecuted from family experience and know­ledge. With their book they want to offer a contribution to a reappraisal of this period of National Socialism, the concentration camps and the death marches. And they ask “how today and in our world we can protect the human rights that were trampled underfoot on these death marches“.