STOLPERSTEINE - Plaques for Nazi Victims Offer a Personal Impact
The Art Project STOLPERSTEINE
In more than 270 German towns the artist Gunter Demnig of Cologne produced so-called "STOLPERSTEINE", Stumbling Stones. These brass plaques installed in sidewalks are designed to recall the individual fates of thousands of victims of the Nazis - Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, and Resistance Fighters. Everywhere the plaques are inscribed with the name and the key dates of the victim who once lived in a certain building and was later deported and killed.
In Munich, however, the city council in accordance with the Jewish community prohibited the installation of Stumbling Stones on the grounds that the project be not an appropriate way to remember the victims. Since then a citizens’ action group promotes the idea of the “Stolpersteine” among the Munich public and tries to convince those personalities who are politically responsible, to reverse their decision and finally to cancel it. The endeavour is supported by many well-known intellectuals, artists, authors, and politicians in Munich.
In this building, the former “Führerbau”- the headquarters of Hitler - and nowadays the Academy of Music and Theatre Munich, the citizens’ action group is proud to present some plaques which are dedicated to Munich victims, by initiating an installation in order to bring the idea of the “Stolpersteine” to public attention. As Gunter Demnig said: “When you read the name of an individual person, calculate his / her age and look at his / her last home, then the horror has a face.”
The secret of memory is affection.