Canon David Porter presented a Cross of Nails to the Evangelische Versoehnungskirche (Protestant Reconciliation Church) and Catholics Seelsorge (Catholic Pastoral Care) in the Memorial Site of the Concentration Camp Dachau on the 8th May 2012.
David spent time with the ecumenical team there and visited the concentration camp. He was deeply moved and shocked by this place of hurt, hate and death. His sermon addressed his speechlessness about the camp and the cruelty of human kind, but also the hope for reconciliation. Dachau, as Coventry Cathedral, is on a journey from a place of hate to a place of reconciliation. Both churches in Dachau try to encourage this through working against human rights violations and stressing the dignity of every human being.
David Porter, together with Dr. Oliver Schuegraf, chair of the German CCN board, presented the Cross of Nails to Reverend Dr. Bjoern Mensing from the Versoehnungskirche and Ludwig Schmidinger from the Katholische Seelsorge. The service was also prepared by Sister Irmengard Schuster, sub prior of the Carmelite Covenant “Holy Blood” in Dachau, Teresa Walch, an Action Reconciliation Service for Peace volunteer from the USA and Deacon Klaus Schultz from the Versoehnungskirche.
Archpriest Apostolos Malamoussis from the Greek-Orthodox church took also part in the service to show a sign of ecumenical closeness. Other honoured guests were Karl Rom, a Jewish survivor of the concentration camp Dachau, Walter Joelsen, Nazi persecutee and Dr. Heinz H. Niemoeller, son of Martin Niemoeller, who was detained in Dachau.
A central part of the service was the prayer for killed detainees. Bjoern Mensing remembered especially the fates of Walter Häbich (communist), Friedrich Puchta (social democrat), Fritz Gerlich (Catholic), Fritzi Kohn (Jew) and Noor Inayat Khan (agent of the British Secret Services).
After the service, David Porter and Oliver Schuegraf spoke about the latest’s projects of the CCN and also invited people to the Litany, which will now be said every Friday at 12.30.