Keep memories alive.

I am related to the German Johanna Melzer, who was active in the resistance to the Hitler regime and who was arrested by the Gestapo (secret police in Nazi Germany) and in prison for 12 years.

Today a street is named after her in Dortmund.

When I was a little girl, my grandmother shared many stories from her aunt (“Eiserne Johanna”) with me.

Before my grandmother passed away, she gave me many letters and asked me to keep up her memory. “Keep those letters, Anna and print them into a book. Share this with the world.”

Also, my father, who was a school boy during the second world war talked about the Hitler regime often.

He told me that his father said how much he hated Hitler and refused to do the typical “Nazi salute”, which resulted in severe punishment.

Both on my mothers and fathers side people were in the resistance and stood up against the Nazis.

They were incredibly brave for doing so.

So, when people call me “brave” all the time, I wonder, if I am really that brave.

On the other hand, it feels natural and a part of me to speak up for the things I find not right.

In no way do I take credit for what my family did and for their courage.

But I was raised to speak up, to help others and to be resilient throughout any life struggles.

It is important that we speak about difficult things and keep the memory of past generations alive.

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