Stumbling over the past in Berlin

Reblogged from Gerry’s always excellent ‘That’s How the Light Gets In’ blog – https://gerryco23.wordpress.com/.

That's How The Light Gets In

BERLIN NOTEBOOK

Just around the corner from the hotel where we stayed in Berlin, in cobbled and tree-lined Fasanenstrasse, I found outside number 42 eight small brass plaques embedded in the pavement. They record the deportation from this town house of eight Jewish Berliners to their deaths in the east.

The Stolpersteine at 42 Fasanenstrasse The stolpersteine at 42 Fasanenstrasse

These small brass memorials are called stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) and there are now more than 5000 of them in Berlin (plus another 38,000 in 800 towns and cities across  Europe), each one commemorating a victim of the Holocaust: whether Jew or Roma, dissident or homosexual, an individual consigned by the Nazis to prison, concentration camp or extermination camp, as well as those who responded to persecution by emigrating or committing suicide.

Stolpersteine are the creation of the Berlin artist Gunter Demnig, their name recalling the old custom in Germany for non-Jews to say, when they stumbled over a protruding stone, ‘There must…

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