20. April 2024

Review: Remembrance Day in Stetten am kalten Markt

Report by Susanne Grimm

Stetten am kalten Markt (sgr). Shortly before the start of the memorial service, the fog settled over the Schlossplatz like a veil of mourning, just as if the sky wanted to make its contribution to the Volkstrauertag.Numerous people had grouped behind the fire brigade band and the delegations of the fire brigade, the DRK local association Heuberg-Donautal and the men's singing association after the church service and had gathered on the Schlossplatz.Together with members of the armed forces and the ninth graders of the school centre, Mayor Maik Lehn and members of the municipal council commemorated the dead of all past and present wars.

The learning groups 9.1 and 9.2 were particularly impressive, formulating thoughts with great seriousness that got under the skin. They remembered the children who cannot enjoy their childhood in the war (Camille); the people who fight for their freedom and have to endure great losses (Alina), all those who have to witness violence and destruction every day and do not know when it will end (Viola). Phil spoke about remembering people, their names, places and events, and Dominik about "the responsibility of all of us for peace". Kathleen and Marie presupposed, besides remembering the dead, what else can be done: "a common memory, a space for memories that we share, in Germany, in Europe, in the world; names, places and events inscribed in such a common memory".

The learning facilitator Annemarie Ziegler summed up the drama of bereavement with a quote from the poet Mascha Kaleko, who said: "You only die your own death, you have to live with the death of others". For young people today, this has an oppressive topicality, she said, from which one thought that such traumas would be spared for future generations. But now people are confronted with an unsparing reality. "The brutal war of aggression in Ukraine is bringing human rights violations and crimes against humanity to our attention, resulting in unbearable suffering," she said. Even the youngest ones have to deal with the fact that bombs are being dropped on their kitas "and that the destruction of civilian infrastructure is conveyed as a strategic goal through war propaganda". This makes it all the more important to warn against forgetting.

"We must not stand idly by without raising our voices," Ziegler admonishes, "we must tirelessly renew our 'memento' and not stop speaking out about the suffering and multiple deaths we have experienced."

Mayor Lehn also saw it that way. He said: "Today's Day of National Mourning obliges us all to stand up for peace and human rights". In view of the terrible and "completely unnecessary war in Ukraine today more than ever!" It is important that peaceful and free coexistence is "taught and lived" at an early age, Lehn drew attention to the youth of learning level nine of the school centre and their teachers Constanze Gruber and Annemarie Ziegler.

The local men's choir and the fire brigade band enriched the impressive ceremony in front of the memorial with their contributions. Soldiers from the units stationed in Stetten and a representative of the associations and the local council laid wreaths to the sound of the musicians.