Monday, September 6, 2010

Stolperstein or Stumbling Blocks

This is a Stolperstein or Stumbling Block next to my flat in Schoneberg
where I am staying, it is a 2 minute walk from me on Martin-Luther-Str. 11, It reads: 
Here Lived 
Fanny Wachtel, Born 1898, Deported 1939, 
Murdered in Auschwitz
These are one of the most touching Holocaust memorials in my opinion that I have come across. They are 4" brass cubes or (10 x 10 x 10 cm) set in a concrete base and then embedded in sidewalks in front of the former residences of the victims arrested and deported from their homes. Each stolperstein is engraved with the name of a victim: a Jew, a gypsy, a homosexual, a euthanasia victim – anyone the Nazis felt did not deserve to live. Each plaque begins with the same words: “here lived…” followed by the name, date of birth, year of deportation, the camp, and the fate of the victim, if known. These Stolperstein are the work of a Cologne artist, Gunter Demnig. Mr. Demnig began this project in 1993 with an exhibition of 200 plaques for Sinti and Roma (gypsy) victims in the Atoniter Church in Cologne. “The immensity of my idea,” said Demnig, “to lay these stones for the victims of the Holocaust all over Europe. As of May 15, 2010, there are over 22,000 Stolpersteine placed in over 530 cities and towns across the continent. To learn more about Stolperstein, click here

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