It is now over 77 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on 27th January 1945, there were less than 7,000 survivors who stood up to tell the world what had happened at the extermination camp. Millions died at the hands of the National Socialist regime. With the number of holocaust survivors decreasing it is vital that we don’t forget.
The History Department at Leipzig International School actively works with local organisations and individuals to create opportunities to learn from history and keep the memory of the victims of the Holocaust alive. In a project with the Bürgerbewegung Archiv e.V. and the Stoplerstein project, the lives of two former residents of Leipzig were researched under the direction of a member of our History Department, Mr Bell: Moses Azderbal, who was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau, and his daughter Edith, who died in the deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Reuben Bell, Albert Schenk and Jona Bürger, students in our 6th grade, won prize money in the German President’s History Competition. They donated this money for the purchase of the Stolpersteine for Moses and Edith.
On 14 September, Moses Azderbal’s granddaughter Eve Krügler came to Leipzig to take part in the stone-laying ceremony. This ceremony was attended by our grade 9 history students, Mrs Postma, Mr Bell and all those involved in the project.
The ceremony took place at Nordstr. 41 in Leipzig, the place where her family house had once stood.
Eve, Moses’ over 90 years old granddaughter and Holocaust survivor, explained to the students that a funeral ceremony for her grandfather and aunt could not take place because the bodies were destroyed in Auschwitz-Birkenau. The stones are a reminder of their lives, a place of remembrance and commemoration.
Estelle Laughlin, a Holocaust survivor, summarises the importance of remembering the Holocaust in the following short poem:
“Memory shapes us.
It is memory that teaches us.
We must understand that therein lies our redemption.”
We as a school have taken on the responsibility for the maintenance of the stones and on the 9th November will be cleaning and taking part in an observance of remembrance at Nordstraße 41. We want and need to keep the memory of Moses and Edith Azderbal alive.