The Permanent Conference of Nazi Memorial Sites in Berlin, the Land of Berlin, the Jewish Community of Berlin, the Israelit Synagogue Community (Adass Jisroel) in Berlin, the Inge Deutschkron Foundation and the Deutsche Bahn Foundation cordially invited to the live stream of the memorial at the memorial “Gleis 17” on 18 October.
After a welcome by Dr. Axel Drecoll, Chairman of the Permanent Conference of Nazi Memorial Sites in the Berlin area 2020 and director of the Brandenburg Memorial Foundation, Ralf Wieland, President of the Berlin House of Representatives, gave the greeting. Uwe Neumärker, director of the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe Foundation, gave a short reading. The event was musically framed by Jossif Gofenberg. The Kaddish was said by Jonah Sievers, community rabbi of the Jewish Community in Berlin.
On October 18, 1941, 79 years ago, the first Berlin “Osttransport” with more than 1,000 Jewish children, women and men left Grunewald station in the direction of Litzmannstadt. From 1942, deportation trains also departed from Anhalter Bahnhof and Moabit freight yard. The targets of the transports were ghettos, concentration and extermination camps in Minsk, Kowno, Riga, Piaski, Warsaw, Theresienstadt, Sobibor, Rasik and Auschwitz.
With the first transport, 35-year-old Dr. Herta Lichtenstein was also deported. She came from a family converted from Judaism to Christianity. After studying in Berlin and Wroclaw, she worked in the public service, but was forced to retire in 1933. Before her deportation to Litzmannstadt, she worked most recently in the welfare department of the “Office Pfarrer Grüber”, a Berlin organization that supported racially persecuted evangelical Christians. From Litzmannstadt, Herta Lichtenstein was abducted on 9 May 1942 to the Extermination Camp Kulmhof (Cheamno) and murdered there in a gas van.
In total, up to six million children, women and men were victims of the Nazi genocide of the Jews of Europe, including more than 50,000 from Berlin.