by Volker Weber

Neil Gallop, a.k.a. xollob58, takes some of the most amazing pictures of Darmstadt, where we live. I don't even recognize many of the places in his pictures. I do however know about these Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks):

These brass plates are being put into the pavements outside the old houses from which Jews were deported to extermination camps during the rule of the Nazis. The idea is that you almost trip over them, then read the names of the people who used to live there, thus also bowing your head. I like this idea of a memorial, because it brings the whole holocaust down to a local and personal level. This action is not limited to Darmstadt, but is spread across all of Germany. Data on the blocks includes date/year of birth, where the person was deported to, and date of death (if known). For example, the top stone reads "Elias Emil Blum lived here. Born in 1876. Deported in 1942. Murdered in Auschwitz".

Check out his Darmstadt set >


I remember Cem writing about these before:


Thanks, again, for posting.

Gregg Eldred, 2008-03-10

Thanks from me, also. He has many pictures of things I would love to see in your city, but this makes me feel more than any of the others that someday I really must come and see it for myself.

Richard Schwartz, 2008-03-10

Alle Stolpersteine Darmstadts auch hier ...

Kristof Doffing, 2008-03-10

I am fed up with most of the official memorial events. But these Stolpersteine are both, non spectacular and really striking. And as they are paid and installed by private people and not by officials acting political correct they are also honest, expressing a real inner need people have.

I am not sure if someone from outside this country can imagine how deep the 3rd Reich still shakens German society until today. Last month the 4th graders at my daughter's school learned about the Holocaust and her best friend went home, telling her parents "if this is true I don't want to be German anymore". How do you deal with this?

My family also paid a price but I took German citizenship very deliberately because Germany has changed so much and as a personal commitment to what this country and nation is today.

Lucius Bobikiewicz, 2008-03-10

For those who master the Dutch language, there is a very nice book from the journalist Geert Mak called "In Europe" where he tells the story of Europe during the last century. He pays much attention on the second world war and the holocaust in its relation to other countries. And surely it are not only the Germans who were entirely responsible for this dark period.
L. Deruyck Belgium

Ludwig Deruyck, 2008-03-10

Alles über die "Stolpersteine": www.stolpersteine.com

Die Darmstadt-Fotos sind faszinierend ... (ich wurde hier vor einigen Jahrzehnten geboren, und staune dennoch).

Stephan Perthes, 2008-03-11

When I stayed in Duesseldorf I was amazed by similar plaques on buildings listing people who were rounded up and sent to camps. In the area I stayed in there seemed to be names of regular volk who were journalists or intellectuals who were taken, not only Jews.

Dan Solomon, 2008-03-12

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