In the project “Offener Prozess” (Ongoing Process), we develop formats for dealing with the NSU in Saxony. Our goal is to present the complex topic in a way that is understandable and emotionally appealing to a broad audience. We want to promote the social confrontation with the NSU complex and we understand the project as a contribution to the commemoration of the victims of the NSU. Among other things, we developed an exhibition that creates a space for research and archiving, as well as a space for encounters, networking and education. Furthermore, we are developing formats to permanently integrate the topic in the school syllabus. “Offener Prozess” brings together already existing reappraisal initiatives and integrates their long-standing work. The project is a contribution to a living remembrance in which the perspectives of those affected by right-wing violence are brought to the fore and the continuities and conditions of the development of right-wing terrorist structures are illuminated.
Remembrance and commemoration
The commemoration of the victims of the NSU should become more permanent in Saxony and especially in south-west Saxony with the aim of creating permanent spaces of remembrance. Despite the fact that the NSU was able to go underground in Saxony, there are no memorials and monuments, no renaming of streets or squares to commemorate the victims of the NSU. By means of educational trips, we want to get to know the memorial processes in other cities related to the NSU and promote a transfer of knowledge to Chemnitz and Zwickau. In addition, we and people from the network of “Offener Prozess” offer city tours in Chemnitz and Zwickau to the places related to the NSU in order to promote a lively remembrance within the respective cities.
Commemoration and coming to terms with the NSU must be thought of together, as well as the overall social dimension of the NSU complex, which can only be dealt with in a multi-dimensional and from a social perspective. As Ms. Charlotte Schwalb from the initiative “Keupstraße is everywhere” emphasised, a “living memory” of the victims of the NSU is needed. Lively remembrance means a process, a continuation of the dialogue, participation of different social groups, integration of the victims’ perspective, support by institutions, cities, municipalities and local funding pots, as well as visibility through large and broadly effective networks. The projects already developed in Saxony and the active key actors represent an existing network whose ideas and projects should be built upon.
The exhibition also includes film interviews with victims of right-wing violence who had to live in Saxony at the hotspots of the former Blood & Honour scene and experienced right-wing hegemonies as potential victims and enemy images of the Nazis. The films are integrated into the modules of the exhibition as well as into workshops and educational programmes.
The process of coming to terms with the NSU complex in society as a whole requires a continuation of educational work. There are still many gaps in both the academic and school approaches to the NSU.
The core of the work of “Offener Prozess” is the development of an exhibition that illuminates the specific Saxon connections to the NSU. The permanent exhibition deals with gaps and unanswered questions in the process of coming to terms with the NSU crimes at the legal, parliamentary, institutional and civil society levels. The collected facts from the NSU trial and the NSU investigation committees, among others, are filtered, visualised and made tangible with a view to Saxony. This will build on existing forms of reappraisal in Saxony and supplement them with new creative research projects (e.g. media analysis, reform processes in the police and judiciary).
The “Ongoing Process” project promotes the networking of local reappraisal initiatives. To this end, networking and exchange meetings take place regularly. In addition to promoting networking, an important core task is to advertise the contents, events and publications of the cooperation partners and key actors in the civil society reappraisal of the NSU via the homepage and Facebook page of “Offener Prozess”.
Every year, we organise educational trips to other cities related to the NSU, which serve the exchange of expertise and nationwide networking. The focus is on the question of what forms of commemoration of the victims of the NSU have been chosen in other cities, what migrant-situated knowledge of the NSU complex is available, how the social reappraisal is going, what conclusions political leaders have drawn from it and what the right-wing scene and the support environment looked like and still looks like locally.
Understanding the NSU as a turning point means keeping an eye on the behaviour of authorities in new cases of right-wing violence, pointing out the lack of social outcry and supporting attempts by civil society to come to terms with the events and to observe and question the persistence of right-wing activities. In this area of preventive work, the nationwide exchange between experts is an important cross-sectional task of the project.
In November 2016, five years after the National Socialist Underground (NSU) exposed themselves, we organised the theatre meeting “Undiscovered Neighbours” in Chemnitz and Zwickau as a group of theatre makers, conflict researchers and public administration scholars. “Undiscovered Neighbours” aimed to make the persistence of the NSU support environment visible and the voices of those affected audible. It networked communal, regional and nationwide remembrance initiatives at the interfaces between culture, civil society and science. The aim was to open up creative spaces for action to critically accompany the reappraisal processes at the legal, parliamentary, institutional and cultural levels in Saxony. The follow-up programme neue unentd_ckte narrative further develops the method of creative dialogue transformation. The Theatertreffen was initiated by the Grass Lifters – art activists who “don’t want grass to grow” over the crimes of the NSU and who repeatedly provoke public discussions in Saxony through targeted interventions. The ASA-FF e.V. (founded in 1979) sees itself as a platform for current stances on global learning. The more than 160 members of the ASA-FF e.V. are scattered around the globe and work in a wide variety of leadership positions & sectors – business, research, culture, non-governmental organisations, administration and international organisations.
With its various projects and activities, the ASA-FF e.V. and its partners want to draw attention to social problems and show new approaches and perspectives. ASA-FF e.V. and its partners have been awarded various prizes for their commitment, formats and approaches. Click here for a detailed overview.