Thanks to our collaboration with the artist and UNITED activist Banu Cennetoğlu from Turkey, on 9 November the Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin published a 48-page supplement today including the UNITED ‘List of Refugee Deaths’ to mark the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism.
The Tagesspiegel print was translated into German and distributed as an insert to 100,000 newspapers between 10 and 20 November, and alongside posters placed at various locations in the city, attempts to wake up readers’ conscience about the deadly results of the ‘Fortress Europe’. The ‘List of Deaths’ includes over 33,000 documented refugee deaths compiled since UNITED started monitoring refugee deaths in 1993 and stands as a testament to the people who have died in their attempt of entering the ‘Fortress’ or as a result of Europe’s immigration policies.
The night of the ‘Kristallnacht’ pogrom in 9 November 1938, commemorated each year on the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism on 9 November, was the first step towards the extermination of the Jewish Europeans by the Nazis and today is generally considered as the symbolic beginning of the Holocaust.
“Today, we can observe a similar indifference and xenophobia from a major part of the society towards refugees and asylum seekers that characterized the European society in the 1930s against Jewish, Roma, homosexual people and people with mental disabilities, just to list the primary ‘enemies’ of the Nazi regime”, explains Balint Josa, Programme Coordinator of UNITED. “On 9 November, we want to draw people’s attention that we must commit ourselves to do everything in our power to prevent persecution, oppression, and genocides by totalitarian regimes before they can manifest, for such a systematic violence as the Holocaust to never happen again.”
“During and after the Second World War, certain countries that were reluctant to grant asylum for victims of the Holocaust are similarly unwilling to support refugees and asylum-seekers today”, he adds. “We must stand firm and speak up against anti-migrant rhetoric and populist narratives that result in the amplitude of bias-motivated violence that we see rising nowadays all across Europe. If we stand still and do not act against the violation of others’ rights, we practically contribute for fascism to gain ground and democracy to fade away.”
This Sunday, the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin organizes an event with the attendance of artist Banu Cennetoğlu and Geert Ates, director of UNITED for Intercultural Action and Jochen Schwarz and Andrea Stäritz from Borderline-Europe in relation to the publishing of ‘The List’ (12 November 2017, 6 pm. Palais am Festungsgraben, Am Festungsgraben 1, 10117 Berlin).
Read the article published in the Tagesspiegel here (in German).
Image: the ‘List of Refugee Deaths’ on display in Hollywood, summer 2017