Berlin’s Stolpersteine

I was all set to write a very different entry this evening, when I suddenly remembered I hadn’t processed the photos I took this morning on my way to work. As usual, I ended up with a bunch of sad trees and branches, looking even more miserable than ever in the dark and gloomy clouds. There is only so much I can photograph with these bare trees without yearning desperately for Spring to finally roll around!

It was one of those mornings where the usual route to the office was rather unappealing so the alternate route was chosen. The strange thing is that I pass these little brass plaques embedded in the sidewalk almost daily but never stopped to take a closer look. I knew what they were but somehow didn’t have the stomach to read them unclose. Until this morning.

These curious memorial plaques are called stolpersteine (stumbling stones) have been placed in front of the houses Jewish victims of the Nazi regime during WWII used to live in. Simple and to the point, they contain the name, deportation date and the concentration camp they were murdered – poignancy engraved in perpetuity.

These stolpersteine are the personal project of a Berliner artist Günther Demnig which began in 1996 and grew into the Stolpersteine Initiative. The website provides a map of where the “stones” can be found around the city.

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