Today marks International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. In Germany too, the victims of National Socialism are remembered. Commemorations are held to mark the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau 78 years ago. For this reason, we would like to share the story of an object from the collection of the International Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem and in doing so, remember Jenni Bachrach from Essen.

Jenni Bachrach, a Jewish woman, was able to get her daughter Eva out of the country safely in 1939, but neither she nor her husband Hermann survived the Holocaust. After being dispossessed and persecuted, they were deported into the Izbica ghetto in April 1942. The National Socialist regime used places like Izbica as so-called "transit ghettos", which more than 23,000 German Jews were forced into between March and June 1942. After a stay of sometimes only a few days, most of them were deported on to the German extermination camps Belzec and Sobibor, where they were murdered. Others died in the ghettos due to the inhumane living conditions.  

Jenni Bachrach's daughter Eva first learned that she was an adopted child in 1944 when she applied for a new passport. The 17-year-old then decided to emigrate to Israel. Once there, she learned that her biological siblings, of whose existence she had previously been unaware, had also been able to escape Germany and survive the war. In 1952, Eva received some personal belongings through her adoptive parents' lawyer, including her mother's evening bag. Today, the bag is in the collection of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Jenni Bachrach's evening bag is part of the exhibition "Sixteen Objects", which is on display in the Paul Löbe House in the Bundestag in Berlin until 17 February. This is also the start of the commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of Yad Vashem.

These pieces from the collection of the Holocaust memorial were brought back to Germany this year for the first time as part of the "Sixteen Objects" exhibition. The objects all tell different stories - which are each in their own way touching and depressing - of persecution, flight, death and expulsion.

For us at Borussia Dortmund, shining a light on the lesser-known places of the Holocaust is also an important concern. That's why we offer annual educational trips to the Lublin region and to the memorial sites in Sobibor and Belzec. And that is why we are happy to support the Freundeskreis Yad Vashem e.V. initiative with its work in Germany. Promoting a living culture of remembrance, to prevent these events being forgotten, is an important duty, especially in Germany, and the story of Jenni Bachrach will play an important role during our next visit to Belzec.

After its stint at the German Bundestag, "Sixteen Objects - An Exhibition Commemorating Seventy Years of Yad Vashem" will be on display in Hall 8 at Zeche Zollverein in Essen from 5 March to 10 April. "Sixteen Objects" is an exhibition of the Freundeskreis Yad Vashem e. V. and the International Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem.