‘Tipper wagon’ Forced labour monument in Billstedt
In the 1980s, the Sonnenland History Group began researching the history of National Socialism in the region. In 1987, it donated a memorial plaque that was installed in the Glinder Au School. The plaque was destroyed a few years later, but fragments of it were preserved.
In 2002, nine young people from the Sonnenland high-rise estate, which stands on the site of a former gravel quarry, expressed an interest in creating a memorial using the plaque and a tipper wagon to symbolise the forced labour. They wanted to dedicate the memorial to the former forced labourers who had to dig gravel between 1942 and 1945 for motorway construction and harbour fortifications for ‘Joh. Thießen KG’, a sand-lime brick factory.
Installation and opposition
A sloped area near the stairs leading from Sonnenland to Oststeinbeker Weg was chosen as the site for the monument because many people pass by there. The history group and young local residents prepared the site and installed the tipper wagon with the support of Pastor Michael Ostendorf. But not everyone in Billstedt was in favour of the monument, and Pastor Ostendorf even received threats.
Bertini Prize and commemoration
Nonetheless, the monument was dedicated on 1 September 2003. The nine young people were awarded the Bertini Prize in 2003 for their efforts. The Sonnenland Quarter Project supervises the monument.