Stumbling Stones/Stoplersteine Memorials

To remember. Read their names.

As I was photographing one of these brass Stolpersteine, an elderly man came up to us and said in German “it’s important to remember the bad things that happen.”

Artist Gunter Demnig creates the Stoplersteines  and personally places them in the sidewalks, using a small trowel, in front of the residences where individuals and families were taken by the Nazis. They all say “here lived_______” , their name and their dates and the location where they were murdered.

Writer Megan King says in her article “These cobblestone plaques that bear a tragic chapter of German history are the open-ended project first initiated in 1996 by the German artist Gunter Demnig. Not only is their message one of remembrance and of personalising the victims by honouring their names, but their purpose is also thought-provoking, aiming to initiate discussion and stimulate thought.”

(Link to another post about the Stolpersteine remembrance project)

The last photo taken at night illustrating how the light catches the brass plaques. Here are a few of the thousands of stolpersteines placed in Berlin but the project has expanded to other countries as well.

21 thoughts on “Stumbling Stones/Stoplersteine Memorials

  1. These ‘Stolpersteine’ are having a greater impact on the human psyche than all the writing on the topic of Nazi concentration camps. For some these are truly stumbling blocks. Thank you for sharing your impressions, Ruth!

  2. I was impressed by the comment from the elderly German man: “It’s important to remember the bad things that happen.” How sad but true!

    • I hope the next generation learns about the Memorials and reasons they are there. Thanks Tish

  3. Where do we put the stumbling stones to remember the children dying in the concentration camps on the U/S. border?

  4. I forwarded your blog post to my sister, Avra, who had this comment.
    “This is fantastic. I love it. And I saw the stumbling stones in Hamburg when I was there and
    if I looked down too often wouldn’t stop crying so I tended to just look straight ahead. I wonder if they are
    in Bonn too, where I’m going in January.”

    I looked it up and indeed they have over 200 in Bonn. Also, the link on the bottom to the Lonely Planet article was really informative. Thank you for this, it was beautiful.

  5. The Germans know how to do meaningful memorials. We were very impressed with the memorial to “The White Rose” in Munich. Check it out.

  6. If these types of reminders were more present, I wonder what a difference it would make across the world.

    Side note: I didn’t know you spoke German.

    • I understand German better than I speak it, that is for sure but my DIL helped translate his words better than I could understand. It was quite moving to hear him speak.

Thanks for your visit. It's always good to hear you stopped by.