Anne Stiller

The staff of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site mourn the passing of their colleague of many years, Anne Stiller, who died on March 2, 2015 after a long illness.

Mrs. Stiller worked at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site from 1984 to 2008. With great dedication and unbending conviction, she was primarily concerned with looking after survivors from the former Soviet Union. Besides the Jewish prisoners, Soviet citizens had the least chances of surviving the concentration camp. Even after liberation and their return home, many of them once again faced discrimination and persecution, with Soviet authorities classing them as collaborators because they were pressed into forced labor in Germany. It was only after the breakup of the Soviet Union that they finally had a chance to speak about the persecution they suffered or apply for a symbolic compensation payment. Above all since the political “turnaround” in 1990, scores of inquiries were sent to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site in an effort to confirm a term of imprisonment in the Dachau concentration camp. With admirable meticulousness and great empathy, Anne Stiller answered these letters, which often enough attested to the traumas suffered by the senders and frequently contained detailed accounts of the terror experienced in the concentration camp. She helped numerous survivors in their efforts to understand the bureaucratic procedures of the compensation process and submit applications. At the same time, Mrs. Stiller was not afraid of resorting to non-bureaucratic solutions when the situation demanded that survivors in remote corners of Russia or in the Ukraine swiftly receive some form of assistance or important medication.

But above all she looked after the former prisoners invited each year to Dachau to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp. The Förderverein für Internationale Jugendbegegnung und Gedenkstättenarbeit in Dachau e.V. had launched this invitation project in 1992, in cooperation with the Dachau Memorial Site. The aim was to fulfill the wish of former prisoners to be able to once more travel to the place where they were – often for years – imprisoned, this time however on their own initiative and as free human beings. Warmly and with great empathy, Anne Stiller attended to the needs of those invited, without however being all too reserved – it was precisely her candid and direct manner that saw numerous prisoners take Mrs. Stiller into their hearts, and indeed down to the present day many still ask after her, although she left the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site in 2008.

 

 

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