Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Czech Republic: Stolpersteine Project Memorializes Shoah Victims in Prague

Stolpersteine in Braunschweig, Germany (photo: Samuel D. Gruber Oct 2007)

Stolpersteine Project Memorializes Shoah Victims in Prague

Ruth Ellen Gruber has linked to a story about the Stolpersteine project ("Stones of the Vanished" or "Stumbling Stones") which began in Germany, and has now spread to the Czech Republic. Holocaust victims remembered by new ‘Stones of the Vanished’ project, describes the beginning of the project in Prague's historic Jewish quarter. The project, originated in 1994 in Cologne by artist Gunter Demnig, embeds small stones resembling cobbles, in the pavements near houses where Jews lived before their deportation out of Germany, or to their deaths.

The stones are actually concrete cubes about 10 cm each ( Four inches), with a thin sheet of brass on top inscribed with: ‘here lived – the name of a person, the date of birth, the date of transport, where that person was deported and the place and date of that person’s murder’. Each stone costs about 95 euro, paid for by contributions.

As of last year, 13,000 "stones" had been placed in 280 cities in Germany, Austria, Hungary and Holland. The largest numbers can be found in Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin.

The project is representative. It makes no attempt to identify and commemorate every deported Jew, homosexual or communist. If it did, some German neighborhoods would be entirely paved with brass.

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