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“Promoting tolerance towards others”

Lüneburg resident Peter Asmussen visited the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen for two days at the end of March seeking information on prisoners held in protective custody. The elementary and secondary school teacher has been actively involved in confronting Lüneburg´s National Socialist past. “My friendships with victims and their families motivate me,” said the amateur researcher.

Asmussen studied in Lüneburg and has made his home there for a number of years. He became acquainted with former concentration camp prisoners and realized that the Nazi era in Lüneburg had barely been researched. “I started to research information in the late 1970s but did not get much support from other institutions,” the 62-year old reported.

Asmussen and the History Workshop in Lüneburg are working to document the history of Nazi persecution of various groups of victims. “During my last visit to Arolsen I researched the fate of women who had relationships with forced labourers for the project “Punished for Love,” said Asmussen. “I have matched names of prisoners in protective custody who were held in the Lüneburg state court prison.”

During his two-day visit, Asmussen found new information on the predominantly Russian and Polish forced labourers who were arrested for various reasons by the Gestapo in Lüneburg, among them Stanislaus Tworski. “He was born in Jeziovy/Szodra on 6 November 1910,” said the teacher. “He was arrested on 19 June 1941 and picked up by the Gestapo on 2 January 1942.”

Asmussen assumes that Tworski was murdered by the Gestapo based on many years of research and his work examining groups of victims and the reasons for their arrest and term of imprisonment. He concludes that “detaining people for six months while they are awaiting sentencing basically means that the Gestapo looked until they found something. My priority is to remember the victims and report the little-known facts. I would also like to promote tolerance towards others,” said Asmussen.