Lest We Forget: Deutsche Bahn presents Holocaust remembrance project at Berlin Central
The photography exhibition "Lest We Forget" by Luigi Toscano recalls the horrors of National Socialism • DB takes a stand against antisemitism and racism • Exhibition to tour 20 railway stations nationwide
Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) is continuing its efforts to combat antisemitism and racism and is presenting the remembrance project "Lest We Forget" by photographer and filmmaker Luigi Toscano at railway stations across Germany. Dr Richard Lutz, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of DB, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Luigi Toscano opened the exhibition at Berlin Central Station today. Fifteen portraits showing survivors of Nazi persecution will be on display here until 2 July. The large-format, 1.5-metre by 2-metre photographs have a clear message: that the history of persecution and the suffering of Holocaust victims must never be forgotten and that we must stand up for tolerance, democracy and openness.
The exhibition will be on display at a total of eight railway stations throughout Germany between now and the end of September. Twelve more stations will follow in 2022.
Chairman of the Management Board and CEO Dr Richard Lutz: “Antisemitism and racism are on the rise worldwide. This is a dangerous development and a cause for grave concern. For that reason, and because we are aware of our historical responsibility, we are supporting this moving exhibition. We want to send a powerful message in support of a peaceful and tolerant society free from hate and exclusion. Stations are places of encounter, where millions of people from all nations, religions and cultures meet. Here, we can remember together the fates of the Holocaust survivors and remind ourselves that the crimes of National Socialism must never be repeated."
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas: “We must not confine remembrance to museums, memorials or history lessons. Remembrance must be open to all. That is why these photographs belong here - not only because it was at railway stations, where millions of Jewish women, men and children embarked on their journey to the death camps, but because here, at a place frequented by hundreds of thousands of people every day, the pictures are surrounded by life.
In our society as in others, the coronavirus pandemic has reinforced right-wing extremist and antisemitic stereotypes. To act and speak out against them is not only the core task of the government, but of everyone who wishes for a tolerant, open and enlightened Germany. A democracy can only be as strong as its defenders.”
Luigi Toscano, photographer and filmmaker: "I am delighted to be working with Deutsche Bahn to send a strong and clear message about tolerance, humanity and democracy. The critical examination of one's own past requires courage and should not be taken for granted. It is, however, essential. The literature professor and Holocaust survivor Susan Cernyak-Spatz, whom I had the pleasure of photographing in 2014, summed it up when we first met with a quote from George Santayana: 'If we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat it.'"
The German-Italian photographer and filmmaker Luigi Toscano, who was named an Artist for Peace by UNESCO in March 2021, has so far met and photographed over 400 Holocaust survivors for his remembrance project. Around one million people worldwide have already seen the exhibition, including in Pittsburgh, Kyiv, New York, Washington and San Francisco. The "Lest We Forget" project also includes a documentary film nominated for the German Human Rights Film Award and a photo book.
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is the patron of this exhibition. After its stop at Berlin Central, the exhibition will be on display at Wiesbaden Main Station from 5 to 14 July 2021. This will be followed by:
Munich Main Station: 17 to 26 July 2021
Nuremberg Main Station: 29 July to 7 August 2021
Karlsruhe Main Station: 10 August to 19 August 2021
Cologne Main Station: 22 August to 31 August 2021
Braunschweig Main Station: 3 September to 12 September 2021
Dresden Main Station: 15 September to 24 September 2021