4. Symposium of the Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation, Buenos Aires – 2019

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

I. ESMA Site Museum – Former Clandestine Centre of Detention, Torture, and Extermination

Visit of the former Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA), a training facility of the Argentine Navy in the capital Buenos Aires. During the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, the school was not only used to train naval recruits, but was also a secret prison and the country’s largest torture centre. About 5000 people were tortured there and most of them murdered.

Since the entire site is still a crime scene of legal significance in ongoing proceedings, the exhibition materials must be able to be removed at any time in order to create the original, authentic environment of the site, e.g. to verify witness statements.

II. Park of Memory – Monument to the Victims of State Terrorism

III. Public closing event of the symposium

1. Summary

Fabián Martinéz summed up the expert exchange of the previous day.
2. Closing speech: Mónica Pinto

Mónica Pinto, PhD – former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Buenos Aires and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers until 2016, gave the closing speech.

“The motto of remembrance, truth and justice summarizes a vision of what people seek after phases of systematic and comprehensive human rights violations. A search that is necessary to process the past, but above all to protect us from comparable dangers in the present. Jacques Le Goff, quoted by Tzvetan Todorov in “Les misuses de la mémoire”, described it as follows: “Memory tries to save the past for the present and the future. Let collective memory serve liberation and not the subjugation of human beings.”

Gabriela Quinteros, Head of the Human Rights department of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship

Argentine participants of the school project of the Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation 2017/18

Ramiro Vera-Fluixá, Luisa Wettengel, Jens Rommel, Fabián Martínez, Hartmut Hamann, Alejandro Ramelli Arteaga, Friederike Mieth, Alberto Yepes, Gabriel Pérez Barberá, Jörg Eisele, Mónica Pinto, Dorothee Weitbrecht, Daniel Rafecas, Cornelius Nestler, Valeria Thus

Natasha Boroda, Lautaro Silbergleit, Lara Valeria Fernandez Brudny, Maika Orzechowicz, Fabián Martínez, Camila Orozco de la Hoz, Jörg Eisele, Eugenia Carbone, Bernd Heinrich, María Gabríela Quinteros, Mónica Pinto, Friederike Mieth, Dorothee Weitbrecht, Jens Rommel, Daniel Rafecas, Luisa Wettengel, Cornelius Nestler, Veronika Torras, Hartmut Hamann, Alejandro Ramelli Arteaga, Valeria Thus, Maria Cristina Patiño, Facundo de Urtiaga, Alberto Yepes, Rodrigo Raskovky, Anabella Castro, Ramiro Vera-Fluixá

Thursday, 3 October 2019

El Vesubio – Former Clandestine Centre of Detention and Torture

On the last day of the symposium, the German delegation visited the former El Vesubio detention and torture camp, where Elisabeth Käsemann and other Germans were tortured and detained in the 1970s. The Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation supports the initiative to build a memorial.
The delegation was welcomed by Gonzalo Conte (architect of “Memoria Abierta”), Dr. Gustavo Dutto (State Secretary of the Municipality of La Matanza), Dr. Daniel Rafecas (Federal Judge),Amira Curi (Secretary of State for Human Rights of the municipality of La Matanza), Cristina Comande, Jorge Watts and Silvia Saladino (survivors of the El Vesubio torture camp and representatives of the Comisión Vesubio y Puente 12).