Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, January 27, is Holocaust Memorial Day in Germany.
Interesting that when we were in Freiburg last Saturday, we saw these "stolpersteine" - the German expression for "stumbling blocks, obstacles, something in the way". These memorials commemorate those who were deported and killed by the Nazis, mostly in Nazi concentration camps or extermination camps.
Schools, relatives, and various organizations investigate facts about people who were deported or persecuted during the Nazi regime. Once the investigation work has been done, the artist Demnig manufactures a 4 inch concrete cube which he covers with a sheet of brass. Then he adds the facts about the person. The stone is then put down flush in the pavement/sidewalk in front of the last residence of the victim.
There are around 270 of these on the streets and sidewalks of Freiburg! We saw just a few of them. It is very sobering to look down and see these as you are walking.
"Here lived Nathan Bloch.....deported in 1940 to Auschwitz...."

Marion and Erna Abraham...."fled to France in 1933....died in 1942 in Auschwitz"

Seven family members are represented here. All fled to France at different times. All but one died in Auschwitz.

Below, you can see the little grouping of the "stolperstein" on the cobblestone sidewalk. They are placed in front of this building where the Grumbacher family last lived before being deported.

1 comment:

Shawna said...

wow. that's remarkable