“We, the survivors, are not going to live forever. You, the young, are not only the preservers of our legacy, you also embody our hope for a peaceful world – the kind of world we have always hoped for.”
Bertrand Herz, President of the International Committee Buchenwald Dora and Kommandos, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation, April 2005
We are an international group called “Third Generation Buchenwald” whose aim is to keep the memory of the concentration camp Buchenwald alive – through collective action and to build a vivid and meaningful international memory of the NS-past in Buchenwald and beyond.
The idea to create a group “Third Generation Buchenwald” emerged in the context of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Buchenwald, i.e., on 11 April 2005, when five grandchildren of survivors renewed the “oath of Buchenwald”. We are connected to Buchenwald either through family stories, friendships, research or personal interest.
Based on these starting points, we explicitly welcome multiple perspectives, since we believe that Buchenwald always has been a controversial and heterogeneous place, and that memory can only stay alive if there is discussion, questioning and curiosity instead of a fixation of meaning. We want to learn about Buchenwald, we want to learn from Buchenwald for today, and we want to learn from each other. So the journey is the destination.
We see ourselves as an independent structure with our own approach. We are, however, looking forward to collaborating with other initiatives and the memorial institution on the base of mutual respect. Our concrete project is to slowly build up an international network for third generation (and younger) people who are interested in developing the project with us, who feel like generating and realizing ideas for practical memory initiatives together (e.g. participation in memorial days, workshops, local activities abroad etc.) and want to be part of an ongoing international exchange on memory politics and memory culture in the present.