Home Bayreuther Gespräche 7. BT-Gespräche
18 | 02 | 2020
7. Bayreuther Gespräche Print E-mail

The “Bayreuther Gespräche” of 2011 were themed “Film replacing contemporary witnesses – The change of European memory culture” and were organized as a two-day-event this year.
The prelude in the form of a time witness interview took place on Friday, September 30th and was organized by a group of students of the local grammar school “Markgräfin-Wilhelmine-Gymnasium”. These students take part in a practical seminar in the context of a history course at their school. The aim of this seminar is to prepare and to conduct a historical science conference, which the students could do by joining the preparation of the “7. Bayreuther Gespräche”. The students worked with the Foundation for one year and brought up the idea to organize a time witness interview for young people. This interview should spotlight the contemporary witnesses themselves and therefore arouse the interest of young people in the topic of the conference.
The cafeteria of the “Markgräfin-Wilhelmine-Gymnasium” was actually fully occupied with ca. 100 not only adolescent guests. After student Hans Nerlich had given a musical introduction on the piano with music by composer Viktor Ullmann, Friederike Schulz, participant of the practical seminar, and Marcus Mühlnikel, the supervising history teacher, took over the moderation of the evening. Helga Hosková, a Czech-Jewish survivor of the concentration camp Theresienstadt, and Enio Mancini, a survivor of an SS-carnage in the Italian Versilia, had appeared in person to report on their personal experiences during the German occupation in their countries in WWII.
At the age of 12, Helga Hosková and her parents were deported to Theresienstadt camp, where she began to secretly draw scenes of the daily life of the inmates. She had brought some of these drawings along in order to show them to the audience. These drawings stressed the horrors which she had to experience in her childhood. Enio Mancini reported on the horrible events during the carnage in his native village Sant’ Anna di Stazzema, which he had to witness at the age of 7. The audience was spellbound by the disturbing yet touching reports of both eye witnesses. After Hans Nerlich had closed the interview with thoughtful music on the piano, many of the guests took the chance not only to fortify themselves with Syrian food at the buffet, but also to have a personal conversation with Helga Hosková and Enio Mancini.
The time when such personal conversations won’t be possible anymore then was in the centre of the symposium on Saturday, October 1st. The main question discussed was if and how films can compensate this loss of vivid memory. From 2 pm on, the assembly hall of the “Markgräfin-Wilhelmine-Gymnasium” filled with a keen audience who were attracted by this top issue despite the summerlike weather. Dietrich Lorenz, pianist from Munich, performed some of Chopin’s melodies in order to put the audience into the mood for the following presentations. The musical introduction was followed by the greeting of Dr. Michael Hohl, mayor of Bayreuth and patron of the “7. Bayreuther Gespräche”. His greeting was followed by a short speech of Eduard Stopfer, deputy headmaster of the “Markgräfin-Wilhelmine-Gymnasium” and the greeting of Wolfgang Hasibether, head of the Wilhelm-Leuschner-Foundation. Finally, Fabrizio Dellepiane, representative of La Spezia, the Italian twin city of Bayreuth, delivered greetings from the municipality of La Spezia. Subsequent to the greetings, Katrin Elsner, participant of the practical seminar, provided the transition to the academic part of the symposium. In her presentation she illustrated the content and the aims of the practical seminar and provided some key information on the topic of the conference and the following speeches.
The first to speak was Wolfgang Hasibether who presented the current film project of the Foundation, “Wilhelm Leuschner – Aufrechter Gang”. Interviews with contemporary witnesses like Edzard Reuter, whose father Ernst Reuter was imprisoned by the Nazis in so-called ‘protective custody’ together with Wilhelm Leuschner, make up key scenes in this documentary. Then Blanka Mouralová, director of the currently nascent “Museum der deutschsprachigen Bewohner der böhmischen Länder” (Museum of the German-speaking Citizens of the Bohemian Countries), informed the audience about the role of the medium film in the museum’s exhibition. The preliminary work on and the production of the film “Sant’ Anna – L’eccidio”, which is shown at the memorial in Sant’ Anna di Stazzema, was the topic of Italian director Massimo Montepagani. Mr Montepagani gave an insight into how the historical events of the carnage were reconstructed and explained why the major part of the film was produced in animated graphics. The final speech was given by Dr. Hans Simon-Pelanda, a pioneer of the oral-history-movement and member of the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft ehemaliges KZ Flossenbürg e.V.” (working group former concentration camp Flossenbürg). Dr. Pelanda is currently finalizing a documentary presenting survivors of Flossenbürg camp who speak about their personal memories of their imprisonment. An exclusive excerpt of the unpublished documentary was shown to the audience. After this presentation, a get-together at the buffet set the frame for further questions and personal conversations with the speakers, which many guests made use of.
We would like to thank the contemporary witnesses Helga Hosková and Enio Mancini for sharing their personal history as well as the lecturers and Dietrich Lorenz for coming to Bayreuth and enriching this year’s “7. Bayreuther Gespräche”. Furthermore, we would like to express our gratitude to the school board of the “Markgräfin-Wilhelmine-Gymnasium”, the participants of the practical seminar and their teacher Marcus Mühnikel as well as Hans Nerlich and Sebastian and Christian of the school’s video club. Without their contribution, the event wouldn’t have been such a great success.

Finanzielle Förderer



Bayerische Landesstiftung

 Bayerische Landesstiftung



Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit

Allianz gegen Rechtsextremismus in der Metropolregion Nürnberg

 Sparkasse Bayreuth


Möbel Hertel Bayreuth

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