The Hamburg Authority for Culture (Kulturbehörde), under the direction of the senator for culture Professor Karin von Welck, supports museums, visual arts, theatres, music, literature, film, district culture, culture for children, cultural exchange and monument conservation. It advises and supports artists and cultural associations. Since 1January 2006 the Hamburg Authority for Culture comprises of two different departments: the Department for Culture and the Public Records Office.
Together with the Hamburg Authority for Urban Development and Environment and the HafenCity Hamburg GmbH the Hamburg Authority for Culture invited political, cultural and societal representatives to the one-day colloquium ‘The place of remembrance Lohseplatz in the HafenCity’ (Der Erinnerungsort Lohseplatz in der HafenCity) into the Kesselhaus. The Lohseplatz used to be the forecourt of the meanwhile destroyed railway station Hannoverscher Bahnhof in today’s HafenCity. In between the years 1940 to 1945 at least 7 112 Jews, Sinti and Roma had been deported within twenty evidenced railway transports to different ghettos, concentration and extermination camps.
The further development process of the HafenCity shall include the creation of a place of remembrance on the location of the Lohseplatz. To decide on the design of the former station’s forecourt and on a way to let the place become tangible in a historic context, a series of events and an exhibition displaying the historic backgrounds are planned.
The colloquium, which served as an opening event to this process, showed the many different perspectives on this issue. On 18 June 2007, amongst others, speeches were held by Dr Heiner Geißler, retired Federal Minister; Dr Peter Fischer, Central Council of the Jews in Germany and Silvio Peritore, Central Council of German Sinti and Roma. At the following panel discussion representatives of different concerned and advocacy groups and research centres in Hamburg such as Professor Dr Jan-Philipp Reemtsma, Hamburg Institute for Social Research or Esther Béjarano, Auschwitz-Committee Germany, discussed their views.
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