Markers were installed in a German city’s sidewalks to mark the places from where Jews were deported in 1941.
Artist Gunter Demnig created the project to put brass plates in the sidewalks of Luebeck, and last week he installed the first 26 of 40 planned plates. The approximately 90 Jews who remained in Luebeck in 1941 were deported to Riga; only three survived. Private donations financed the plates in the pavement opposite apartment buildings. There are now some 9,000 “stumbling blocks,” as they officially are called, in Germany. Each one bears the name of a Jew who lived at the location, their date of birth and deportation to Auschwitz or other concentration or death camps.
Some cities, including Munich, have refused to allow the small memorials. Munich resident Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and a Holocaust survivor who passed herself off as the Christian daughter of a young woman in Bavaria, says the stumbling blocks are disrespectful because people walk over them. Demnig received the Obermayer German Jewish History award in 2005 for this project. Upon receiving the award, Demnig said in an interview that he produces the brass plates himself.
â€œIt must not become a factory,â€ he said. â€œI know I canâ€™t do 6 million stones, but if I can inspire a discussion with just one, something very important has been achieved.â€
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.