The board of the Villa Merländer Association

We are here for you

Sibylle Kühne-Franken


Gerda Fast

Deputy Chairwoman

Annnemarie Vössing


Sandra Franz

Managing director of the association, head of the NS documentation centre

Dr. Claudia Flümann


Bernhard Mildebrath


Detlev Stein


Dr. Tagrid Yousef


Thomas Visser

Chairman Board of Trustees

Honorary members of the Villa Merländer Association

Wilma and Herbert Campendonk

The married couple Wilma and Herbert Campendonk supported Villa Merländer e.V. especially in the difficult founding phase. They supported the association and the NS documentation centre with advice and (financial) action. Herbert Campendonk (1915-2008) was the son of the artist Heinrich Campendonk. He himself had not inherited his father's special talent and embarked on a career in the commercial sector. After the death of his stepmother, he took over the inheritance of his father. The Campendonks took part in cultural life until old age and were frequent and welcome guests at Villa Merländer.

Aurel Billstein

Aurel Billstein (1901-1996) laid the ideal foundations for a place of remembrance for the victims of National Socialism in Krefeld. After his professional life, the trained locksmith began researching the activities of the Gestapo in Krefeld and published one of the first local studies on the Nazi era. Thanks to his initiative, a number of monuments were erected in Krefeld and finally a documentation centre in the Villa Merländer. Aurel Billstein was driven by his own experiences: He was first arrested as a communist in 1933. A second arrest for supporting the illegal KPD was followed by years in prison. He had to endure privations and humiliations and had to endure the suffering and death of many comrades. Aurel Billstein was made an honorary citizen of the city in 1990. In 1991 he received the Federal Cross of Merit.

Rudolf Pilgrim

Rudolf Pilger (1926) has been a member of the association from the very beginning. It is thanks to his untiring commitment that the association has been able to put itself on a solid financial footing. As a young man, Rudolf Pilger had to suffer the Nazi dictatorship and its consequences first-hand (conscription to the Wehrmacht, wounding, captivity in the Soviet Union). After his professional career in the chemical industry Rudolf Pilger completed a degree in history. He was involved in numerous associations - including the Verein für Heimatkunde and the Geschichtswerkstatt Krefeld - and used his many contacts to promote the interests of Villa Merländer.

Dr. Eugen Gerritz

The former member of the state parliament and councillor Dr. Eugen Gerritz was chairman of the association from 1999 to 2005. It was the only honorary position he accepted after completing his work as a cultural politician at local and state level. The promotion of the memorial was a personal concern of his. Full of enthusiasm, Dr. Gerritz announced in 1999 that the association would soon grow into a "people's movement". In the course of time, the latter turned out to be too bold a perspective. But it is a good way to continue working in this direction. The honorary membership was awarded to him on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the association.

Goetz Waninger

Götz Waninger, born in 1941, was impressed by the writings of Aurel Billstein when Rita Thies was the chairwoman of the association. He had studied sociology and philosophy and worked as head of the internal communications department at the Krefeld public utility company. When some years later Dr. Eugen Gerritz announced his vision of Villa Merländer e.V. as the core of a "people's movement", Götz Waninger was virtually predestined for a new project of the association, the Merländer-Brief. For a good 20 years he organised, designed and produced the bi-annual publication with great dedication. He thus played an important role in making the NS-Documentation Centre, the Villa Merländer and the Friends of the Association known to a broad public far beyond the borders of Krefeld.

We look forward to getting to know you!

Do you have questions about our association? You would like to have a conversation? You are interested in donating? Please get in touch with us, we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Villa Merländer e.V.

Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 42
47799 Krefeld