Stolpersteine, © picture alliance / Kontrolab | Salvatore Laporta / IPA

03.09.2021 - Article

The STOLPERSTEINE (stumbling stones) memorial project is a remembrance project by German artist Gunter Demnig that has gained international attention since founded in 1996. It is the most compelling, personal, moving memorial one could imagine as it names the individuals and cites their date of birth, date of deportation, date of death or destiny. Located at the entrances of buildings that were the last freely chosen home of the individual named on the STOLPERSTEINE, the observer is literally on the threshold of the lives of these people led until they were torn out.

Gunter Demnig cites the Talmud saying that “a person is only forgotten when his or her name is forgotten”. The STOLPERSTEINE in front of the buildings bring back to memory the people who once lived here. Almost every “stone” begins with HERE LIVED… One “stone”. One name. One person. More than 70,000 STOLPERSTEINE have been placed all over Europe so far.

To emphasize the personal connection and the incredible pervasiveness of the project, STOLPERSTEINE: STORIES THROUGH GENERATIONS brings the stories of several Canadian families alive through the strong narrative of audio interviews and private family images. The goal is to preserve the memory and the deeply moving personal stories and insights for future generations as well as to act as an access point for further education and discussion. The oral histories provide glimpses that cannot be obtained from documents or written records. They supplement the cultural and historical archives with intimate personal memories and documents and reclaim a lost world through the power of stories.

STOLPERSTEINE memorial project

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