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Created on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:02
Evaluating the 2013/2014 "Wieder Setzen" campaign of the alliance "Nazifrei -- Dresden stellt sich quer"
A good evaluation should be thorough and prepared with enough time to contemplate well. It should furthermore be constructive, self-critical but also send along some tasks and findings for the future. This text is an attempt to do so -- it is for you to decide whether it met these high aspirations.
Our campaign titled "Wieder Setzen" was the fifth one in a row of the alliance. To organize successful resistance against the former largest Nazi march in Europe with then over 7000 participants is our goal since 2009/2010. It is important to us to emphasize this in the very beginning of our evaluation of the 2013/2014 campaign in order to analyze the progression and results of our action days in this very context. Our assessments and decisions can only be understood carrying this in mind. We are aware where we come from and know about the meaning of our alliance.
Many things we did in this campaign in order to prepare our days of action in February in terms of mobilization, PR and so on could be expected from us after the past campaigns. We walked along well known pathways and moved in safe, because known, grounds. In retro perspective, this needs to be seen very critical as routine can be helpful but also a hindrance in pursuing and spotting new pathways and developments.
The campaign was started in the autumn by publishing the call for action. It was the first year where we decided to go without an initial conference but to do an initial action in the streets, which can be described as a success. From there we tried to establish the same infrastructure for 201 as we did for the previous years. Everything was laid out for one day of action (including the "Traces of Offenders" March) as we had actions in the city, charity parties and concerts and our website in order to spread the news about the campaign and get as many people as we can to Dresden on our day of action. Numerous flyers, stickers and posters were distributed within Dresden and sent elsewhere. In parallel we tried to gather as much information on the day as possible to get an idea on what could be expected. In this process we had to learn that some things become more difficult the more accepted and established our alliance becomes. The organizations within the alliance but also people and organizations from outside are now far less willing to donate large amounts of money to us. The larger organizations from within the alliance donated substantial amounts in the past and cannot continue like that with our campaign become less important on a national scale. Simultaneously, our local groups already operate politically at their financial limit. As a result we are depending more than ever on your donations, but many people do not seem to see this need in the light of our successes. The expectations on our work and what do, however, have risen. During the mobilization stage of our camping it is now taken for granted that we hold many stalls, do other actions as well as sending out advertisement for fee. Furthermore, a professional attitude including the corresponding infrastructure during the days of action together with a 24/7 availability with definite and reliable information provided is expected from us. What many forget -- we don't get paid for what we do. In the contrary, we are all volunteers dedicating our spare time (and some much more), sparing weekends, nights and a lot of idealism and energy for the campaign, always exposing us towards repression. And as much as we dislike it, we have to accept that all of that is impossible without the corresponding financial resources. The very fact that we exist for five years does not mean that we have built up great reserves. Whether there will be another successful campaign in 2014/2015, is also highly dependent on how many organizations and people are ready to give us donations.
In comparison to previous campaigns, our public communication towards the city of Dresden with her Mayor Helma Orosz (CDU) together with her "AG 13. Februar" which she initiated and is organizing the human chain, has changed significantly. Despite the city's office for demonstrations and rallies being our annual opponent, talks with (semi)official delegates or other groups representing the city of Dresden were never ruled out from our side. Such talks are helpful to clearly name the different interests forcing each side to make clear statements. To us, a minimal requirement has always been that a substantial improvement in the city's commemoration policy together with the Dresden's Nazi-problem would be reached. As we realized that the standstill of the past years in these areas was not satisfactory for us, we decided to invite the Mayor for talks. Talks with the "AG" took place in previous campaigns and reached a limit for a mutual agreement (respecting each other's actions as long as they serve the common goal of opposing the Nazis). We now wanted to demonstrate openness towards negotiations, hoping to trigger the very same on the other side. Neither did these talks take place before our day of action nor did they until this day. The reasons for this are purely with the mayor and can only be regarded as excuses from our side. Also an utterly busy Mayor of Dresden would have been able to spare an hour or two for talks with us, if she would have made an effort -- the lack of this can only due an absence of willingness to meet with us at the same table. However, we are not too sorry for this as we can only speculate whether such a talk would have yielded something meaningful. Judging from the aftermath of the campaign, we have strong doubts whether talks before the 12th and 13th of February could have triggered positive developments. Despite of this, only some rhetorical improvements of the acting people of the City but no changes in their actions could be observed. Mrs Orosz did, for example, talk positive of our admonishing march. We appreciate this, as we tried to emphasize this very bit throughout the past years. We do continue though, to have a critical view on how the City's cultivates the memorial culture around the 13^th of February. To exaggerate this anniversary in its reception over other dates dealing with the Nazi history in Dresden, must lead to an uphold of the victim-myth of this city. And we criticize the official commemoration events even more as it Nazis slip into them easily on the heathside-cemetery (Heidefriedhof) as well as the human chain. As a result, we have to have to accept that our more open strategy towards the city has failed. There has been progress in the commemoration debate within the campaign (e.g. accepting our admonishing march for the traces of offenders), but there have been drawbacks in other fields which we thought to have settled in the past years -- as it can be seen with the heathside-cemetery but also with our talks addressing the "AG 13. Februar" where delegates of the AG began to questions a settled consensus from the past. What worries us most, is that there have been tendencies to co-opt us due to the closeness we allowed. If people suggest that the alliance "Dresden Nazifrei" is just one part of a larger city-wide consensus on commemoration and protest, we have to deny that strongly. Neither can we see the City to deal with this date adequately to the day, nor a clearly expressed antifascist attitude. We do not stand alongside the human chain and the memorial service on the heathside-cemetery -- we criticize both. Neither are they part of our campaign, nor do we think them suitable to find a feasible way to deal with the day or to oppose the Nazis. We will express that more clearly again in the future: It is only due to us starting with our decisive actions together with the people who went onto the streets with us in 2009 that we can even dare to think about a relatively Nazi-free February, 13^th -- neither the Mayor, nor a human chain, nor the "AG 13. Februar" have blocked a single Nazi in Dresden or can take a share in the demobilization within the far right in the past years!
Let's face it: The 12th of February was step backwards for Dresden. As an alliance, we have been surprised -- were not prepared for this. One reason is that we got caught being careless, but it is also due to the city's authorities deliberately withholding some key information from us. In the aftermath we have to conclude that the strategy of the office for demonstration of Mr Lübs, of whom the mayor Helma Orosz is in charge, and of head of police, Mr Kröll, worked out successfully: Give the Nazis the evening before, let them do their march and thus having a calm city on the 13^th of February. We think this strategy to be disastrous, a step backwards into past decade, but we mainly think that it has failed! The route of the Nazi-march was obviously declared and agreed on. This was no spontaneous call. That means: The police and the city's authorities knowingly made wrong announcements to the public or withheld them. Even the Mayor herself seemed to have no knowledge of the Nazi march, which shows once again how little she controls the authorities she is the official head of. The strategy behind this must be criticized heavily. It is of no importance to us on what day the Nazis march through Dresden, but whether they are able to do so in the first place. Making it possible on the 12th of February -- and forced through trough heavily by police -- just to keep it from happening on the next day, does not make less unbearable to us. Essentially, this is only topped and made totally absurd by the way the 13th of February went on after that. Regardless how often the media claim that the "Dresden people" would "have their day back", we have to state: There were Nazis in town on the 13^th of February 2014, 80 of them joined the commemoration on the heathside-cemetery, made their way into the human chain easily, moved around in small groups, tried to disturb, to hold a rally and kept the police busy. There was no Nazi-free February, 13th in 2014, there was no calm day!
We have to blame ourselves: We were not informed well enough to judge the overall picture properly. We were not prepared well enough to get enough resistance to the streets for successful blockades already on the 12th of February. We were not ready to act in terms of the communication network, the infrastructure or the structures to take action -- or only on a small scale. We only called for a "Warm-Up" on that evening in order to not overemphasize the Nazi actions we expected from our side. The term "Warm-Up" ought to suggest a low level protest as we only expected a negligible amount of Nazis trying to take action from the Theaterplatz/Postplatz area. We now -- judging in the aftermath -- know that would have probably been better to call for blockades on the 12th already and that have a share in why the scale of the situation on that day was only realized throughout the evening and that a decisive call for action could have brought people to the streets for a proper protest. As they say -- you are always smarter afterwards. However, using the information we had beforehand, no other decision could have been made, which brings us back to the previously mentioned lack of information. As a result, the Nazis could hold a march on the 12/02/2014. We are as angry as you are about this and are also as disappointed as you are and want to -- hopefully also alike you -- prevent this from happening next year. Loads of criticism has reached us after this day. We take every constructive criticism very seriously and ask ourselves what we could have differently -- could have done better. Rapidly questions were raised regarding why we were not present as an allicance, had no web-ticker, no official announcements and had no official advice. We need to stand up to this: There was no web-ticker as the corresponding infrastructure was prepared for the 13th of February and was not ready the evening before. Only communication using facebook and twitter was ready to use (and has been used in the end). But even if the web-ticker would have been working, we would have had no means gather and digest all information gathered to inform you with the usual quality. However, we want to consolidate that we have, of course, been on the streets -- together with roughly 1000 people being engaged in all sorts of actions. We, the campaign Dresden-Nazifrei, had quite promptly 2 loudspeaker vans operational and initially attempted to disturb and eventually block the Nazis on the Sophienstraße and later on close to the cinema complex "Kristallpalast". And we did call for action on the streets beforehand -- and called it a "warm-up" following the reasons just stated as many things were unclear to us and we thought it irresponsible to send out a call for blockades and then send people into a situation which could get out of control quickly. Judging from now, these unclear words can quite rightfully be seen as a mistake.
The criticism together with the expectations towards us reveals another problem though, which we would like to address: We are no agency offering a blockade service! Expectedly, people sympathizing with us look at us are thus disappointed if we are not as well prepared as they are used to it. It is our ultimate goal, however, to make "Dresden-Nazifrei" totally expendable. Following this goal, we have tried from the beginning to set conditions in which people could act autonomously. This years' 12th of February demonstrated that Dresden is in need of more people in peer groups which can act independently to oppose spontaneous Nazi actions - without a large organization in the background. In the end, one thing has to be stated that many people rely on us and we have to accept that. They rely on us to organize disruption of Nazi marches and rallies wherever and whenever they hold them and are disappointed from us if the Nazis succeed in the end - whether we like it or not. We would like to emphasize though, that Dresden-Nazifrei cannot and will not be present everywhere. It is your own responsibility as well. Organize yourselves in long-term peer groups which can be activated easily and quickly and take decisive action on the streets yourselves. You know how it's done; you have proven that in the past years. We have offered trainings for blockades and proper preparation in the past and will continue to do so. However, it is down to you in the end to empower yourselves to get successful antifascist resistance to the streets. Don't just rely on us as we would be nothing without you. This could be seen nicely on the next day (13/02/14). Thanks to the more than 3200 people participating in our march looking for traces of offenders where we were able to hit a new record in participation. The
march itself went on without major issues and undisturbed from the beginning until the end. For the third year in a row it marked our contribution on how the historic day for Dresden is dealt with. The criticism mentioned beforehand should not dim this positive summary but needs to be applied as well: Protecting the event from disturbance form outside has to improve next year and needs to be focused on more after small groups managed to infiltrate and interfere with the event on multiple occasions. In addition we need to tackle trials from city officials to assimilate this event and pay more attention to the political messages going along with the whole alliance. We will, for example, alter our criteria for the people present at the first transparent to make the whole spectrum of the alliance visible rather than focusing on prominent people.
We already discussed a quite few things about the rest of the day in previous sections. It was no day free of Nazis, even though this was proclaimed often afterwards. Small groups of Nazis kept popping out into the streets justifying our urge to be on the streets with as many people as possible for as long as possible. It was important to ensure that no spontaneous action of fascists was possible after our march for the traces of offenders had ended. Here, we succeeded. We have to criticize the "AG 13. Februar" with its human chain heavily, though. Anyone who did not realize it in past years must have realized after this years' 13th of February, how pointless this symbolic act is and how easy it is for Nazis to infiltrate it and misuse it for their case. Only the celebrity hour of victimizing-cult on the heathside cemetery is worse than that. The Memorial is already a disgrace itself as it puts Dresden in one line with Coventry and even Auschwitz. It is then even more abhorrent if 80 Nazis join the commemoration ceremony and none of the honorable figures present is tempted to protest. After some progress in terms of phased down protocol, which made it more difficult to Nazis to join the ceremony, could be noted in recent years, a wreath-laying was again part of it this year. In comparison with 2011, this marks another step backwards for Dresden. This cannot be without consequences for us and thus the heathside cemetery will be focused on more in the future as we cannot accept this event without protest in the future. However, back to the human chain: Until 13/02/2014 we have always emphasized that we respect it if people gather for a symbolic action against Nazis, although this does not prevent a single march of them. We even overlooked the fact that the human chain was originally set in light of the "extremisms doctrine" against all "extremism", trying to level Nazis and our resistance against them. If the Nazis now, as it happened this year, unashamed publish a call in the morning of the 13th of February to join the human chain to participate in the "silent commemoration", if marshals are briefed to ignore Nazis, Nazis put down candles for "German victims" and our activists are dismayed from the event at the same time -- then even the previously mentioned symbolic aspect is gone. The human chain has thus lost any justification from 2014 onwards. It is now a symbol for how little Dresden realized where the actual problem is located. And it will stay alike, if there is not at least some kind of protest evolving where the Nazis can actually hear and see protestors. However, the Nazi marches are merely symptomatic. The real reason is the culture of hanging on to the thought of alleged German victims. The moment the human chain closes and is joined by church bells around town, it is in the end commencing that very "silent commemoration" with many of its participants which we have criticized for years now -- even though the organizers may not intend this. This very fact makes is compatible with Nazi ideology. It is for this lack of thought that they can join in easily as it perfectly reflects their intention As a result, pictures of Nazis arm in arm with the Mayor circulate on the internet afterwards. We do not blame the Mayor for it, but would like to point out that this negative publicity is the city's own fault in the end.
In evaluation of all what we have until this point, many questions to ourselves do form and we now have to work on providing sufficient answers: First of all, we need to decide whether we should continue to focus on the February issue only. We have already reached a decision here. As a result, our alliance will use all its internet-based communication channels to get as many people as we can on the streets to protest against the so-called "Day of German Future" on the 7th of June, which takes place in Dresden. However, we will not be present with an own campaign as there is already another one in place. We think the event as a quite important one though, which is why we simply cannot remain silent on this topic.
The other questions cannot be answered as quickly, especially as they involve self-criticism, self-reflection as well as a realistic view on our resources and abilities. Summarized in brief, we have to clarify the following: What needs to change and can we accomplish that? However, this has the consequence of falling many complex single decisions. We need to be say precisely in which way important issues continue to have a common ground within the alliance, especially the relation to the city's authorities and the commemoration. In the end, our strategies, use of resources and internal constitution needs to be adapted in order to avoid repeating this year's mistakes. Thorough research is needed to see what exactly can be expected for the 70th anniversary in 2015, which potential partners we could find and who of the city will work against us or at least not in our favor. Most importantly, we need to adapt to the shift in the strategy of the Nazis. We had been successful until this year, but the Nazis around Maik Müller have adapted their strategy in favor of many small actions over several days and did not push for their torch-parade in public. This makes it more difficult for us as we cannot call for a specific day of action and new ways need to be found. There are many options but we need to decide what we can accomplish and also what maybe not. To fall this decision, we need to know which organizations and people are ready to support the alliance to what extent and what they are willing to contribute. All these questions will be addressed and eventually answered in the following months. We look for the following: New strategies, solutions but also new partners. Our alliance sources from the general public, being supported by broad range of organizations. If you, as a part of the general public, want to support us, please feel free to get in touch.
Some changes are already decided on: We will criticize the citys authorities, the Dresden police and the "AG 13. Februar" more intense and also more direct. Any attempts, especially by the mayor and the "AG 13. Februar", to co-opt us will be opposed heavily. We will focus more on the meaning the meaning of work and distinctively work out the differences between our actions and the entirely symbolic actions without any effect by the city of Dresden. At the same time, we will intensify the cooperation with our partners outside the official representatives of the city who also push for changes in Dresden. We will not sit down for talks with the mayor without any preconditions. The Nazi structures will be monitored more closely again and our means to get to information improved.
We have one message, however, which we would like to send out to the city of Dresden, the Nazis and you: You didn't get rid of us! Our resistance against twisting history and Nazi ideology continues. We are Dresden Nazifrei!
Created on Thursday, 13 February 2014 08:16
Laut unseren Informationen ist im Laufe der letzten Nacht, nachdem gestern durch ein Urteil des OVG nur noch der Hauptbahnhof als Veranstaltungsort in Frage kam, die Anmeldung seitens der Nazis für heute zurück gezogen worden. Das heißt, dass keine Kundgebung stattfinden kann und wird.
Allerdings wissen wir nicht, ob die Nazis so schnell allen anreisenden Menschen ihres Spektrums diese Botschaft übermitteln können. Es ist also weiterhin möglich, dass Nazis nach Dresden kommen und dann hier zu Spontanaktionen übergehen.
Außerdem findet der Täterspurenmahngang von uns auf jeden Fall statt!!!
Damit ist aber ein Aspekt erreicht, den wir mit unserer Arbeit erreichen wollten: es gibt einen 13. Februar in Dresden ohne Nazianmeldung. Und es gibt weiterhin die Chance auf einen Nazifreies Dresden am 13. Februar. Und es bleibt dabei, dass es wichtig ist, heute auf der Straße zu sein, um ihnen zu zeigen, dass dieser Tag nicht mal mehr Ansatzweise ihnen gehört!
Ein paar kurze Sätze zu den gestrigen Ereignissen:
Wir stehen für ehrliche Kommunikation. Deswegen muss festgestellt werden, dass gestern kein guter Tag für Dresden war. Es gab eine Nazidemo, die durch Dresden laufen konnte. Sie wurde zwar zeitweise aufgehalten und durchgehend durch lautstarken Protest begleitet, aber nicht blockiert.
Damit ist der 12.02. anders gelaufen, als wir uns das vorgestellt oder gewünscht haben. Es gilt, dies kritisch zu benennen und auszuwerten - das werden wir tun. Es gilt aber auch, dies nicht größer zu reden, als es ist: dies war nicht der Nazigroßaufmarsch, den sie immer haben wollten! Es waren 300 Nazis (300 zu viel), die laufen konnten. Und auch wenn sie es jetzt im Nachgang so zu verkaufen versuchen werden: es war nicht der von ihnen lang geplante Gedenkmarsch!
Der gestrige Tag zeigt deutlich, wie wichtig ein gut geplantes und konsequent durchgezogenes Blockadekonzept ist. Proteste halten Nazis nicht auf, nur Blockaden. Und dafür braucht man viele Menschen auf den Straßen. Gestern waren es zwar ca. 1000 Gegendemonstrant_innen, das hat aber angesichts der großen Anzahl Polizist_innen nicht ausgereicht und ist für eine Stadt mit mehr als 500000 Einwohner_innen zu wenig.
Wenn sich Nazis nun zu feiern versuchen, halten wir ihnen entgegen: es ist kein Sieg, wenn man schon startet, während alle anderen noch Rot haben und sich dann feiert, weil man als Erster in die Kurve geht. Das Rennen gewinnt man so nicht! Einen Aktion einen Tag zu früh zu veranstalten ist gleichbedeutend mit dem Eingeständnis, dass man gegen uns am 13. Februar in Dresden nichts durchsetzen kann.
Created on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 13:09
"Do what you say and say what you do!" - this is one of our basic principles. Today we would like to fulfil the first bit by publishing our plans for the day.
The campaign map can be found here (click to enlarge):
A printable version can be found here.
Info Phone of Dresden Nazifrei: 0351/41884999
Helpline in case of arrests: 0351/89960456
First Aid: 01577/0669645
German Tickers can be found at:
https://linksunten.indymedia.org/ticker/dd14 (Smartphones, Tablets, ...)
coloRadio (German only) is on air from 6 pm and available on 98,4 und 99,3 MHz and using their livestream at http://coloradio.org.
We currently have 2 possible scenarios to start from which mainly depend to how the judicial trail between the Nazi Maik Müller (declared the rally) and the city terminates. In the more likely one of the two, the Nazis get to hold their rally close to the main station in the area of the Prager Strasse. This place is exceptionally easy to shield from anti-Nazi protestors. The other version would be that the Nazis gather either one one the following stations - "Dresden Mitte" or "Freiberger Strasse".
The Nazi rally is delcared from 6 pm but it is quite likely that Nazis loiter around town beforehand in both, small groups and as single members of the public. Naturally, there will be large number of police around. It is therefore highly important that you walk around town alone or small groups. Organise yourselves in peer groups (reference groups) as soon as possible!
We call for people to gather at the following 4 places in town:
1. From 2:00 pm onwards at the Schützenplatz. The march for traces of offenders (Täterspurenmahngang) will start from there on the route marked (dashed red line). It is supposed to last until 6:00 pm
2. From 4:30 pm - especially of interest for students: The demo of the student council (light red line) will start from there and terminate around 6:00 pm at Postplatz.
3. From 4:00 pm: General gatherring at the corner Schweriner / Hetha-Lindner-Strasse.
4. Also from 4:00 pm: Rally by the group "Churches and right wing extremism" at the corner Wilsdruffer Strasse/Galeriestrasse
You will be able to reach the blockades from all 4(!) points ? also from our march "Täterspurenmahngang"
We do an explicit and pronounced call to block the Nazis on 13/02/2014 in Dresden. Come to our blockade points. On them, you will be protected by the mere amount of people present and you will have an effective oppertunity to block the Nazis.
If we have any further news during the next days, we will keep you informed (check the german version of this website as well and as friends to translate!). Just stay alert and keep informed when you leave home.
We will have maps available on all our vehicles addressing the public on the day on a first-come-first-serve basis. To be sure, you can print you own map beforehand at home.
Created on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 13:37
Danke an alle, die auf der Straße waren und versucht haben zu blockieren. Leider haben wir es nur geschafft, die Nazidemo zu verlangsamen. Positiv ist aber, dass auch heute deutlich mehr Antifaschist_innen auf der Straße waren als Nazis.
Morgen gilt es umso mehr, den Nazis den Tag zu versauen und jede mögliche Veranstaltung zu verhindern. Bitte informiert euch weiterhin auf unserer Website über die aktuellen Ereignisse.
Nach unseren aktuellen Infos haben die Nazis die Option mit 12-15 Uhr nicht gezogen. Das ist noch nicht abschließend, aber sehr wahrscheinlich korrekt. Es bleibt also bei einer Kundgebung 18 Uhr im bereich Hauptbahnhof. Begebt euch also zu unserem Mobi-Punkten oder dem Täterspurenmahngang morgen.
Das Urteil des Oberverwaltungsgerichtes ist vor wenigen Minuten eingetroffen. Darin bestätigt das Gericht generell das Urteil der vorherigen Instanz, des Verwaltungsgerichtes Dresden. Allerdings macht es eine wesentliche Änderung:
"Der Senat änderte den Beschluss des Verwaltungsgerichts allerdings insoweit, als alternativ zu dem vom Verwaltungsgericht festgesetzten Versammlungsort der Antragsteller auf einer von der Stadt Dresden zu bestimmenden Fläche auf einem der weiteren vom Antragsteller als alternativer Versammlungsort benannten Ort in der Zeit von 12.00 Uhr bis 15.00 Uhr durchführen kann. Der Antragsteller muss sich heute bis 17.00 Uhr gegenüber der Stadt erklären, ob er diesen Versammlungsort wählt. Andernfalls verbleibt es bei dem vom Verwaltungsgericht festgesetzten Versammlungsort. Hier sei eine Kollision mit andern Veranstaltungen, wie der ab 16.00 Uhr geplanten Aufstellung der angemeldeten Menschenkette, nicht zu befürchten. Der Ort sei auch von den Versammlungsteilnehmern am schnellsten zu erreichen."
Daraus ergibt sich für uns und euch folgende Lage:
1. Unsere Szenarien bleiben bestehen, da wir bislang davon ausgehen, dass die Nazis ihre Leute nicht einfach mal so paar Stunden eher mobilisieren können.
2. Das ist aber nicht auszuschließen, letztendlich müssen wir warten, wie sich der Nazianmelder Maik Müller verhält und versuchen so zeitnah es geht nach 17 uhr rauszufinden, ob er auf das Angebot des OVG eingeht.
3. Sollte das der Fall sein, sagen wir euch Bescheid. Es kann also sein, dass ihr morgen schon am Mittag gefragt seid! Stellt euch darauf ein. Wir haben ja immer gesagt, dass der ganze Tag relevant ist.
Bleibt also aufmersam, verfolgt unsere Infokanäle, informiert euch!
Created on Sunday, 09 February 2014 16:56
Täterspuren 2014, Demostration on 13/02/2014, 2:00 pm, Schützenplatz.
On every February 13th since 2011, our "March for traces of offenders" (Täterspurenmahngang) points out places where traces of the Nazi offenses can be found in Dresden. This was by no means was an "innocent city" as often suggested in the remembrance of February 13^th . It was an important hub of the war industry, thousands suffered here from forced labour and this place has also been an important host to key Nazi institutions to maintain the race ideology. Jewish citizens were ostracized, disenfranchised, deported and killed. We cordially invite you to look for traces of offenders with us in 2014.
The handout containing all information on the single sites and a map of the march can be found here.
The sites to find traces of offenders in 2014 are:
The "Dresden House of the People" on Schützenplatz, home of the general association of german unions was opened in 1902, enlarged 1930 and eventually occupied by Police and SA on March 8th , 1933. A sign reading ?SA Hostel? was placed at the entrance and the widely visible letters on the roof showing this to be the home of the unions were removed. After the building was handed back to the Unions on 26/03/1933 it was occupied again on 02/05/1933 and became home to the German Workers Front (Deutsche Arbeiterfront).
In the "Home to bowlers" (Keglerheim) in the Friedrichstraße 12, a traditional site to hold meetings of the local workforce, 9 workers and policemen were shot on January 25th , 1933. Many others were injured, 11 of them severely, as they attended rally held by the communist party KPD.
2. Wettiner Platz
The publishers of the Newspaper "Dresdner Volkszeitung", closely related to the SPD, and a book shop resided in this building. On 08/03/1933 it was occupied by the SA. Consequently, Party literature, books of poetry and fiction, newspapers and archived material was piled up in the front yard and eventually burned in a bonfire. Its basement got converted into a so-called "camp for preventive detention". From midst 1933 onwards, the producers of the daily newspaper of the saxon NSDAP "Der Freiheitskampf" and Nazi publishers resided in here.
According to plans of the city's authorities, the Sternplatz was one of 100 designated places to collect dead bodies. The only building remaining after the war was the meanwhile 100-year-old building of the local health insurance.
4. Landesbauernschaft, Ammonstrasse 8
The building was errected between 1936 and 138 for the association of saxon farmers. This organization, founded 1933, was the - by force - united body of all firms, people and associations in saxon agriculture. During World War II, this body organized the complete war food economy, including the use of prisoners of war and other types of forced labor also in agriculture.
5. Florastrasse/Zwickauer Strasse
Engineering and accurate industries (optics, fine mechanics, electrical engineering) were used heavily to maintain the arms industry. A key site for air force industries was the Dresden area with numerous foreign workers in at least 781 companies. The Florastraße hosted a satellite camp of the concentration camp Flossenburg. Roughly 700 women from different countries had to perform forced labor in here. They were exploited brutally - many died.
On todays "Bayrische Straße 16", the former Bismarkstraße 16/18, the previous Continental-Hotel was home to the local Gestapo Headquarters. Amongst others, their section IV B 4 was in charge of all state-police measures against Jewish citizens in Dresden and consequently also their stepwise deportation from 1942.
7. Technische Hochschule
On today's Friedrich-List-Platz, then still "Bismarckplatz", was the central building of the Dresden College of Technology (Technische Hochschule Dresden). The College showed significant influence of Nazi ideology even before 1933. 11 Professors, for example, signed a call published in a well-known Nazi newspaper to support the NSDAP prior the general elections in November 1932. Also the students were under increasing influence of the Nazi ideology whilst the the Nazi student body gained control over them.