Mirjam Ohringer from Amsterdam died in the night of the 29th of May 2016. For more than 30 years she accompanied the work of IBB as a contemporary witness like no other. We first met her on one of our very first exploratory tours in 1986. Countless times, in Amsterdam and also in Dortmund and the surrounding areas, she told her story and passed on her legacy.
On the 24th of October 1924 she was born as a Jewish girl in a family with socialist beliefs, and already in the 1930s learned much about the fate of Jewish and political emigrants fleeing Nazi-Germany to the Netherlands. As a youth, she used the opportunity to become active in the resistance against the German occupation. With great luck, she was able to go into hiding and survive the Holocaust.
All her life, but especially in the past few decades, she tirelessly told her life’s story. In doing so, she never put herself into focus, but was always striving to pass on the political lessons of these times. Due to her honest and heartwarming nature, she made a lasting impact for remembrance on hundreds of younger and older people with IBB alone.
Only in April, IBB employee Heiko Hamer visited her in Amsterdam. Despite mobility impairments, she was mentally fit and acutely aware until her very last weeks. Then she became very ill very quickly – and was spared long suffering.
The death of Mirjam Ohringer once again highlights the shift in remembrance work: Soon no contemporary witnesses will be able to tell of the times of National Socialism. We will, in remembering Mirjam, continue to seek to keep her legacy alive!