Thursday, October 27, 2011

Die Stolpersteine in Berlin

At the entrance of some buildings in Berlin are small cobblestone memorials. These markers or “Stolpersteine” (The German word for “stumbling block” or “obstacle”) commemorate victims of the Nazi Holocaust who onced lived in these dwellings. Most of these memorials commemorate Jewish victims, but some Stolpersteine also honor gypsies, homosexuals, members of the Communist party, resistance fighters, and the mentally disabled.

This Stolperstein reads,
"Here lived Arthur Rosenow, Born
1894, Deported 1943, Murdered in Auschwitz."
Some owners of the memorialize buildings have objected to these daily reminders of Germany's dark past because of depreciation concerns. However, the vast majority of people approve of the Stolpersteine. In fact, Berlin has three full-time municipal employees responsible for them.  

In some respects, I find these small markers more poignant than the impressive Holocaust Memorial near the Brandenburger Tor. They're more personal, less grandiose. 

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