“You are always welcome!”

In the evening of April 29th, 2011, 41 visitors gathered in the Official House and Mayor Hubert Böse, with the help in translation of Sabine Müller, greeted them with these words:

“Dear guests,
I greet you all and would like to welcome you to our town. To you, who accepted our invitation and are present here today, I would like to thank you very much. Some of you have made a very long journey, which must have been somewhat arduous, and not only because of the great distance that had to be covered. I believe that a certain inner turmoil and mixed feelings have also traveled with you.

However, I would also like to thank those who were invited, who would have liked to come, but were unable to do so for scheduling or health reasons. Many of them have written to me describing their feelings connected with this meeting in Themar.

There are very moving lines among them! In all that I could read, what was expressed in these letters or e-mails, there is a basic mood.

This coming together is important and the commemoration connected with it is long overdue. All those who cannot be there are very sorry and they wish us a good course for the events. This confirms my opinion that the continuation of the dialogue, which was started in November 2008, is the right thing to do and I would like to see direct personal connections develop from it.

Frankly speaking, when I wrote this invitation I was not sure how many of the descendants of former Jewish citizens of our city would actually make the journey to get to know the homeland of their parents and grandparents. We were very impressed that so many made the journey.

For you as our visitors, this is certainly a very emotional journey, and for us as your hosts, it is also all very moving.

What happened to the Jewish families in the period after 1933 in Germany and also in our city cannot be justified by anything.

It was and remains a crime!

The fact that you nevertheless have such a deep attachment to your homeland touches me very much and gives me hope that we, as the descendants of the perpetrators of that time, will receive forgiveness from you by honestly dealing with our history. For this we want to deal intensively with this dark side of Themar’s past and remember, so that the horror will never be forgotten and so the breeding ground for future can not develop in the first place.

The Jewish families have done good to this town. For a very long time they have shaped the social, economic and cultural life of Themar. The fact that their traces are still visible today is a proof of how deeply they were rooted here.

They were robbed of their roots and their homeland, but no one was able to extinguish their love for their homeland and thus their attachment to it, if one thinks of Manfred Rosengarten or also of Marion Syktich, a native of Sander, whose son, Glenn Syktich, wrote to me that his mother could never let go of Themar and mostly thought of the joyful events she had experienced here as a girl and young woman.

I hope that these days in Themar will be a pleasant stay for you and that you will see that this town has a friendly face, that you will enjoy the program, which is certainly very extensive and strenuous, and that you will feel that you are welcome and welcomed in Themar.

My thanks to all the organizers who made this meeting and tomorrow’s event possible:
Sharon Meen * Rolf Lengemann * Fritz Stubenrauch * Barbara and Arnd Morgenroth * Joachim Hanf * Ralf Kammerdiener
and the association TtE with its chairman Sabine Müller

Have a good time in Themar!”

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator