Remembrance events to focus on the siege of Leningrad

Author Daniil Granin will be the guest speaker

Author Daniil Granin will be the guest speaker (pa/dpa)

The German Bundestag’s Ceremony of Remembrance marking the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of National Socialism will be held on Monday, 27 January 2014, beginning at 14.00 hrs, in the plenary chamber of the Reichstag Building in Berlin. This year’s guest speaker is the Russian author Daniil Granin. The Ceremony of Remembrance at the Bundestag has been held annually since 1996 on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by Russian soldiers on 27 January 1945.

The Ceremony of Remembrance, with English interpretation, will be broadcast at:

Guest speaker: Daniil Granin from St Petersburg

On 27 January 1944, one year before the liberation of Auschwitz, the German Wehrmacht’s siege of Leningrad (now St Petersburg) ended. It had claimed the lives of over one million civilians. One survivor is Daniil Alexandrovich Granin, who, 70 years on, will address the Bundestag on this subject. Granin is, among other things, co-author of "A Book of the Blockade", which is based on memoirs and interviews with those who experienced the German siege of Leningrad.

Granin’s half-hour speech will follow a speech by the President of the Bundestag, Professor Norbert Lammert,in which he will welcome, in addition to Daniil Granin, Federal President Joachim Gauck; Stephan Weil, President of the Bundesrat; Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel; Professor Andreas Voßkuhle, President of the Federal Constitutional Court; and many other guests. The Ceremony of Remembrance will also feature music performed by the Meccorre String Quartet.

International youth encounter

Among the guests will be the around 80 participants in the international youth encounter, which is held each year in remembrance of the victims of National Socialism. The participants are young people from Germany and its neighbouring countries, in particular Poland and France, who are actively involved in projects and initiatives which relate to the history of National Socialism or which work to counter xenophobia, anti-Semitism and racism. The subject of this year’s youth encounter is the siege of Leningrad and the German war of extermination against the Soviet Union.

On 22 January, the participants will travel together to St Petersburg, where they will study the history of the Wehrmacht’s siege of the city, the German occupation of eastern Europe, and the fate of the Nazis’ victims in Russia. They will meet survivors and visit memorials. Jewish life during the siege will also be examined. Following the Ceremony of Remembrance at the Bundestag, the young people will meet Daniil Granin and Norbert Lammert, President of the Bundestag, for a two-hour panel discussion in the Europasaal of the Paul Löbe Building, beginning at 16.00 hrs.

The panel discussion will be broadcast at:

Ulla Schmidt to open exhibition

Following the Ceremony of Remembrance, Ulla Schmidt, Vice-President of the Bundestag, will open the exhibition "Registered, Persecuted, Annihilated: The Sick and the Disabled under National Socialism"at 15.30 hrs in the Bundestag’s Paul Löbe Building.

The exhibition can be visited until Friday, 28 February; advance registration required (Tel.: +49 (0)30/227-38883, email: (vom/20.01.2014)