This letter is to political groups in the Bundestag, to the media and to the circles of friends been conducted.

Esther Bejarano, 2017 (Photo:

Open Letter to Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz because of the withdrawal of charitable status for the VVN / BdA, Nov. 25, 2019 
What is a charitable organization? 
By Esther Bejarano

Dear Minister Scholz, Since 2008, I am the honorary chairman of the VVN-BdA, the non-profit organization of the persecuted of the Nazi regime – Confederation of anti-fascists, founded in 1947 by survivors of concentration camps and Nazi persecuted. The work of Antifa, the work of anti-fascist associations is still – today – still badly needed. It is unbearable for us survivors to see Nazi slogans roaring again today, attacking Jewish people and synagogues, chasing and threatening people through the streets, circulating death lists, and not even shying away from attacks on state officials. 

Where is the Federal Republic heading?

The house burns – and you lock out the fire !, want to make the work impossible for the largest and oldest anti-fascist association in the country? This devaluation of our work is a serious offense for all of us. 

“The Federal Republic has become another, better Germany,” my friends had assured me, before I returned with my family from Israel to Germany almost 60 years ago. Nevertheless, I met old and new Nazis here. But here I have found reliable friends, people who fought in opposition to National Socialism, the anti-fascists and anti-fascists. Only I could trust them.

We survivors of the Shoah are the uncomfortable admonishers, but we have not lost our hope for a better and peaceful world. For this we and the many who think like us need help! We need organizations that support and coordinate this work. 

I have never imagined that the charitable nature of our work could be questioned or denied! That I have to experience this today! Have those already won, who want to distort the history of our country, who want to rewrite and overwrite it? Who speak of memorial sites ‘as a monument of shame’ and describe the Nazi state and its murder machine as a ‘bird’s nest in German history’?

In the past decades, I have received many awards and honors, now just again by the Hamburg Senate a commemorative gold medal. My second Federal Cross of Merit, the Great, was presented to me personally in 2012, a tribute for outstanding services to the common good, it said. In 2008, the Federal President had attached the Federal Cross of Merit 1st class to me. I am glad about that, because every single honor stands for recognition of my – our – work against forgetting, for a “never again war – never again fascism”, for our fight against old and new Nazis. 

But who awards medals to Shoah survivors, also assumes an obligation. A commitment to the common NEVER AGAIN that underlies our work.

And now I ask you: what can be more charitable than to lead this fight? In this country actually decides a tax authority on the existence of an association of survivors of the Nazi crimes? 

As the responsible Minister of Finance, I urge you to do everything possible to reverse this untold and unjust decision to withdraw the charitable status of the VVN-BdA and to propose appropriate legislative changes.

We survivors have to fulfill a mission given to us by the millions murdered and tortured in the concentration camps and Nazi prisons. Many friends and friends, the antifascists help us out of love for humanity! Do not allow this work to be made even more difficult by additional tax burdens. 

Yours sincerely, 
Esther Bejarano 
Chairwoman Auschwitz Committee in the Federal Republic of Germany 
Honorary Chairman of the Association of the Persecuted of the Nazi Regime – Association of Anti-Fascists


Auschwitz Committee in the Federal Republic of Germany

openPetion “The VVN-BdA must remain charitable!” 

1 Comment

  1. November 29, 2019 at 19:14

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