Squatting for the memory of the victims of Nazism


At Orthodox Anarchist:

Entrance to the Topf & Söhne squat in Erfurt, Germany. More photos here.

In 2001, a group of antifascist activists connected to the anti-German movement occupied the long-abandoned Topf & Söhne factory grounds in Erfurt, Germany, where the crematoriums for the Nazi death camps were manufactured.

From the decaying shambles they forged a dozen apartments, a free kitchen, studio & rehearsal spaces, a performance space, a free store, and a museum documenting the crimes that occurred there. They also succeeded in building a community which has become a locus for organized resistance to resurgent fascism in Germany’s east, which is an ever-present and ever-growing threat.

Next Wednesday, January 21, local authorities intend to evict the Topf & Söhne squatters. A new owner has acquired the property and plans to demolish the site — erasing both historical evidence of the Nazi atrocities and an important community resource — so that the land can be redeveloped into a commercial complex.

Only one structure, the administrative offices, will remain as an official historical site — a concession earned through the continued agitation of the squatters and allied local citizens to preserve the entirety of the site.

The squatters themselves, who have struggled nobly, will be left without a home. They nonetheless intend to stick it out, awaiting the inevitable showdown.

Stand up to defend community, historical memory, and grassroots resistance! Please contact your local German consular and ask them to intervene to stop the eviction and demolition of Topf & Söhne.

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