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The book of remembrance

The book of remembrance

The book of remembrance

The Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraeberfuersorge [German War Graves Commission], in cooperation with the commemorative and educational establishment of the Wannsee-Konferenz [Wannsee Conference] and the foundation “Neue Synagoge Berlin - Centrum Judaicum” [New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum], is intending to publish a book of remembrance for the German Jews who were taken away to Riga in 1941/1942.

The Commission is backed by the towns and cities from where the Jewish population was deported during the course of the National Socialist policy of annihilation.

If permitted by the source location, this book of remembrance will contain the names of all the displaced persons: surname, first name(s), date of birth, place of birth and last home address. In addition, the last sign of life of the deported and, if possible, the date of death will be recorded using existing sources. A list of known survivors will also be printed.

The initial sources of information will be the deportation lists of the Gestapo (where these exist), the findings of books of remembrance already published by various German archives and other institutions, the findings of published literature, and personal comments from survivors. An additional source will be documents from the Baltic States, Poland, Russia and Israel that have recently become accessible. Current knowledge is also based on the documents of investigations and judicial proceedings carried out by the German public prosecutor’s office. At the same time, the book of remembrance will be able to gain from the experiences drawn from the use of previously published books of remembrance, for which highly impressive groundwork was carried out.

Instead of listing the names of the deported in the usual alphabetical way they will be printed by date of transportation in order to facilitate historical analysis. A chronological list will make it easier for future users personally to find the deported over the historical course of time. This is difficult to do with an alphabetical list of all the names of the deported. The second major difference compared with previously published books of remembrance is that it will concentrate on one geographical area: Riga.

The book of remembrance will contain approximately 450 pages, depending on the print layout of the names. In addition to the forewords of the institutions responsible for the project, the front of the book will contain a historical introduction to the fate of the people deported to Riga. The transportation lists will be supplemented with relevant indices.

© Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Scheffler