A delegation of the Presidium of the Parliament of Lower Saxony (Landtag Niedersachsen) met with Jochi Ritz-Olewski, who was born in the DP camp after the liberation of the death camp Bergen-Belsen. The delegation headed by President of the Landtag Bernd Busemann, included members of the Presidium: vice-presidents and secretaries of parliament from across the political spectrum.
Jochi Ritz-Olewski serves voluntarily as acting chairman of the DP Bergen-Belsen in Israel. This vibrant and active organization has more than four hundred members and represents the interests of Israelis and Jews in the context of the former camp site in Germany. It is the largest organization in Israel and worldwide of concentration camp survivors. Jochi's father, the late Rafael Olewski, was among the most prominent figures in the DP camp immediately after liberation, and served as chairman of the organization in Israel since the early '50s until his death in 1981.
In the meeting also took an active part Jochi's brother, Arie Olewski, who serves as editor of "Our Voice" – a magazine of the Belsen Organization in Israel.
President of the Landtag Bernd Busemann previously served as Minister in charge of Niedersachsen memorial sites, including Bergen-Belsen. He was credited with supporting the establishing of the new documentation center at the former camp site.
Jochi Ritz-Olewski briefed the audience about the extensive activity of the Bergen-Belsen Organization in Israel and expressed fears for the fate of the former DP camp site, near the site of the Bergen-Belsen camp. This year the British forces evacuated the Hohne camp – the former DP camp site, which served as their military base on the way to the Middle East. Belsen Organization in Israel announced that it would fight for the preservation of some buildings of historic value in the military base, which was used seven decades ago as the DP camp.
The participants agreed that the Presidium of the Landtag will look for ways to help preserve the memory and other related issues in the context of Bergen-Belsen.