Voices of the Next Generations

Next generations of former prisoners of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp tell their stories

Voices of the Next Generations 2022

Mische Lemaire´s Report from the International Exchange from the 14th to the 18th of September 2022

Photo: Ruthe Zuntz

Between 14 and 18 September 2022, we grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jan Lemaire Jr. participated in the second meeting of Voices of the next generations in Oranienburg Sachsenhausen.

During this edition, there were 14 relatives of former prisoners from the Netherlands, Germany, France, England, Italy, Austria and Estonia.

It was an intensive but very beautiful meeting. It is wonderful to see that even though the family members come from all parts of Europe and the backgrounds are often very different, the similarity in stories and yet often emotions are the same.

It is separate to realise that often, fathers and grandfathers were in Sachsenhausen at the same time and in some cases also had a lot of contact with each other. And now we were there. In freedom, a different time with different insights and not under the constant pressure of danger, yet the place not infrequently gave us a chill.

The opportunity to talk to each other about each other’s experiences and those of the family members who had been imprisoned and sometimes survived and also not survived created deep bonds. It proved once again how big the shadows of war are.

The talks with Sachsenhausen Memorial staff discussing commemoration in the future and the importance of the camp itself were also good.

Voices of the next generations is an important and especially beautiful meeting, which we hope will give the opportunity to many family members who have not yet visited.

We thank the Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten / Gedenkstätte und Museum Sachsenhausen and its staff for their work in preserving such an important place in our family history and in so many others.

Photo: Ruthe Zuntz

Author

Mischa Lemaire