Commemoration of Mahmud Azhar| 6th March 2022 // 2 PM // Thielallee 63 (Hahn-Meitner-Bau)

Mahmud Azhar, Schwarz-weiß Potrait

06.03.2022 marks the 32nd anniversary of the death of Mahmud Azhar, who died as a result of a racist attack on the campus of the Free University (FU) on 07.01.1990. On Sunday, March 6, we want to commemorate Mahmud Azhar with a wreath laying ceremony. We invite you to attend the commemoration at 2 p.m. at the current headquarters of the Biochemistry Institute (Thielallee 63, Dahlem).

Mahmud Azhar was studying for his doctorate in chemistry at the Institute of Biochemistry at the FU Berlin, where he also worked as a research assistant. On the evening of January 07, in front of what was then the building of the institute in Berlin Lichterfelde, Mahmud Azhar was racially insulted by a German attacker, whereupon he fled into the building and tried to contact the police. His emergency calls went unanswered. The perpetrator found him in the building, attacked him and knocked him down. Only afterwards did the police arrive and Azhar was taken to hospital. He died there on March 6, 32 years ago, as a direct result of the racist attack.

Then and now, racist violence goes unnamed, concealed, and relativized. Indeed, authorities, institutions and politicians strive to ensure that these incidents are forgotten. As with many other attacks of this kind, it was only through the long struggle of relatives, friends, and initiatives that this murder was named as racist. Since the former building of the Institute of Biochemistry is no longer used by the FU, there was no memorial plaque or other form of public commemoration for Mahmud Azhar at the university for a very long time. Finally, a memorial plaque was put it place, however its move from the old building to the new did not go ahead in 2020 as planned. It will now finally be transferred to the current building of the Institute of Biochemistry (Thielallee 63) by March 6, 2022.

Mahmud Azhar is not an isolated case. Too many people have been murdered due to systematic racist violence in Germany. Likewise, racist violence is and has been part of university life and the campus of the FU. We call for not forgetting Mahmud Azhar and for establishing a public commemoration at the university, for questioning the university's responsibility and complicity, and for naming and defying any form of racist violence on campus.

No Forgiving, No Forgetting!

Working Group in Memory of Mahmud Azhar