Commemoration in Constance

The lives of 112 Jewish people from Constance, a town in southern Germany, were devastated when they were deported to the Gurs concentration camp in southwestern France on October 22, 1940. Many of them lost their lives there due to the terrible living conditions. From the summer of 1942, further transports took place from Gurs to Auschwitz, where deportees were then murdered.

The deportation from Constance happened more than 80 years ago but only a few walking minutes away from the innotio office. To remember those who suffered and were killed under the Nazi dictatorship, and to set an example in times of rising antisemitism, we did not hesitate when we were asked by Petra Quintini, on behalf of the Stolpersteine initiative, if we could support in planning and implementing an 80-year commemoration.

Together with the Stolpersteine initiative and teachers from four schools in Constance, students had researched Jewish biographies and dealt with the history of the October deportation and the camps in southern France. Together with a local artist, the students created a memorial commemorating the Jewish people deported from Constance, making the historical events visible and demonstrating the horrors committed by National Socialism in Constance.

Every year a memorial march takes place starting in the place where Jews 83 years ago had been gathered and ending at the new memorial placed at the railway station from where the deportation train had left. The innotio team supported the design and production of 112 individual poster signs with the pictures and names of all 112 deportees, which were carried along by students. Presentations were given by students at each major stop along the way. innotio also supported a smooth proceeding of this march. Since many of the invited witnesses and relatives were unable to attend in person, innotio professionally recorded the event and made the stream available online.

This stream and many other impressions from the commemoration as well as background information can be viewed on the website, which the INNOTIO design team created in cooperation with the Stolpersteine initiative: It fills us with consolation and confidence that this event was brought to life by a strong civil society in our neighboring town Constance. We are grateful for the opportunity we were given to contribute to a culture of remembrance.

In the face of the horrors of war with which we are now again confronted day after day in the media, we will not cease to stand up for peaceful and tolerant coexistence and to make our mark against hatred and persecution.