1st Chairwoman: Dorothee Roos
Born 1954, grew up in Homburg/Saar. Studied German and History at the University of Mannheim. However, I only held this teaching position for a short time, after that I worked as a freelancer in adult education and as a journalist in the field of culture and history. Since the end of the 1990s, my voluntary work for the Neckarelz concentration camp memorial site has become increasingly important. Since 1997 I have been the chairwoman of the Memorial’s supporting association and, together with a motivated team, I was responsible for the educational work as well as for public relations and event planning. From the very beginning, the concentration camp memorial has intensively cultivated contacts with France. This applies both to the close relations with former French prisoners and their families and to the Natzweiler Memorial in Alsace. Initially, this was for historical reasons: In the area of the “Neckarlager” (“Neckar camps”), of all the Natzweiler subcamps, most French resistance fighters were imprisoned both absolutely and relatively. Furthermore, in November 1944, the command of the main camp was transferred to three villages near Neckarelz. This is why the Neckarelz Concentration Camp Memorial Site tells the last chapter in the history of the main camp in its exhibition entitled “Natzweiler am Neckar”. But as a Saarlander, I was also personally born with a close relationship to France; knowledge of French was helpful in the exchange of ideas with my French colleagues. When the application for the European Heritage Label led to the foundation of the VGKN Memorial Sites Network, I gladly accepted the task of getting this network off the ground and was also intensively involved in the project work. After two terms of office as VGKN chairwoman, I was able to hand over my tasks to younger hands, but I will remain closely connected to the VGKN via Neckarelz.
2nd Chairman: Dr. des. Marco Brenneisen
Since 2009 I have been a volunteer in the memorial site “KZ-Gedenkstätte Sandhofen (Mannheim)”, where I hold the office of deputy chairman. Since 2017, I have also been a member of the MARCHIVUM (formerly Stadtarchiv-Mannheim-ISG), where I am responsible for the scientific and organisational management of the memorial site. I am a graduate social scientist and historian and in 2019 I submitted my dissertation to the University of Mannheim, in which I analysed the “post-history” of the satellite camps of Natzweiler Concentration Camp in southwestern Germany as well as the developments in the culture of remembrance in these places since 1945. The history of the Natzweiler subcamps is therefore as familiar to me as the memorial landscape in southwestern Germany; especially since I have been a member of the spokesman’s council of the State Working Group of the Memorials and Memorial Initiatives in Baden-Württemberg (LAGG) since 2016. Last year, I was a member of the VGKN executive board as vice chairman
I am pleased to be able to act in future as 1st chairman of the VGKN and to continue the work carried out by Dorothee Roos with untiring commitment. It is important to me to consolidate the networking, cooperation and exchange between the memorial sites and to promote public awareness of the memorial landscape through joint projects. At the same time, the successful Franco-German cooperation with the CERD and other partners is to be continued. In the medium term, therefore, the further development of the Natzweiler database by VGKN, CERD and Prof. Robert Steegmann (Strasbourg) will be one of my main tasks on the board
I would like to be able to extend the cooperation in the field of research and historical-political education to other countries, especially Poland.
Treasurer: Dr. Albrecht Dapp
Ever since my childhood I have been occupied with coming to terms with the Nazi past – in view of the fact that my family was affected by the National Socialists . Since I came to Spaichingen in 1986, I have also devoted myself, as far as my scope of activity in addition to my job as chief physician in a small clinic allowed, together with some fellow citizens, to the commemoration of the Natzweiler subcamp which existed there from 1944 to 1945. As a representative of this initially only loose association, I took part in the founding of the VGKN in 2016 and, at the suggestion of the two chairwomen at the time, Dorothee Roos and Brigitta Marquart-Schad, took over the office of treasurer. In order to intensify the memorial work in Spaichingen, we founded an “Initiative KZ-Gedenken” in Spaichingen in 2018 as an association.
The work as treasurer during the start-up phase of the VGKN and the many challenges and information associated with it are exciting tasks and bring a wide range of ideas, now that as a retiree I would like to devote myself to other interests outside medicine. I would like to contribute to the successful continuation of the manifold projects of this important commemoration work.