What remains? About the Memory of Nazi Forced Labor in Families

Digital panel discussion with children of former forced laborers

Thursday, 26 August 2021, 7 p.m.

What does the forced labor experience of parents mean for one's own life and family? Did the mothers and fathers tell about their exploitation in the Nazi system or did they keep silent? These and other questions will be discussed in a talk with Ton Maas, Prof. Dr. Olga Ryabchenko and Ilona Strimber.

Kees Maas was a forced laborer for Telefunken in Berlin. There he also met his future wife. From 1943 onward he was suffering more and more under the air raids in Berlin. 2017 Ton Maas began to read the diaries and letters from the time that his father had written. Now he is working on a book about his father's story.

Leonid Ryabchenko was a forced laborer, mainly in the foundry at the "Deutsche Industrie Werke AG" in Berlin-Spandau. In the post-war period he was drafted into the Red Army and interned in Soviet penal camps. He processed his experiences in autobiographical books. His daughter Olga Ryabchenko is a historian and spoke with her father about his experiences at a young age.

Hildegard Simon was forced into forced labor at the Pertrix battery factory in Berlin-Schöneweide. From 1942, she and her husband Arno went into hiding in Berlin with forged papers until the end of the war. Her daughter Ilona Strimber conducted an extensive interview with her mother for the Shoah Foundation in 1997 and is committed to coming to terms with her work at Pertrix.


Welcome: Dr. Christine Glauning, Director Nazi Forced Labor Documentation Center

Panel: Ton Maas, Prof. Dr. Olga Ryabchenko and Ilona Strimber

Moderation: Shelly Kupferberg, freelance journalist

Zoom Link   YouTube Link

Languages: German and Russian