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Stumbling stones

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Lionne posted 10/16/2013 17:22 PM

We recently came back from a trip that included cities in Germany. Included in those tours was an explanation of these small brass squares installed in cities in Germany to recall victims of the holocaust. Here's a link.

Apparently there is some controversy about them, of course there's always controversy, but I found them incredibly moving. The German tour guides told me they made sure their own children were read the names on each "stone" they passed, and the stories were told. Their kids grew up hating Hitler and what he stood for.
My own family came from the Ukraine, early in the century, so escaped that later persecution, but I have a number of friends whose parents and grandparents were directly impacted by events in Nazi Germany. Those friends were all Jews, but of course, not all Hitler's victims were Jews.
One of the "stones" was defaced by chewing gum. The guide was quite upset. It's hard to tell if it was purposeful. FWH bend down to clean it off...
Quite an experience.

GabyBaby posted 10/16/2013 18:50 PM

That must have been an awesome experience.
Hubby and I are both history buffs and are looking forward to traveling more after my son graduates. I have a huge list of cities and countries that I want to visit solely for some significant historical reason.

Clarrissa posted 10/16/2013 19:49 PM

I'd like to see these stones one day but probably will never get the opportunity.

Being partly of German descent myself I can understand why the country as a whole repudiates all that Hitler and the Nazis stood for. They find it so repugnant that it's *illegal* to display a swastika. My H heard of one man who was *hung* because he (jokingly) made the "Hitler mustache" with a comb.

My guess is the stone was defaced purposely - why? Who knows except the one(s) responsible. But maybe I'm just cynical. But kudos to your H for his actions. I think he showed great respect to the person it commemorated, stranger though they were to your H.

Lionne posted 10/17/2013 15:55 PM

It didn't appear deliberate, actually. It wasn't covering the names... But anyway, the symbolism of them, the effort it takes to explain the meaning to tourists, to children, is meaningful. They aren't cheap, 105 euros, and aren't plentiful. Interesting, too, that anyone who can prove they are of Jewish descent can have permanent residency in Germany upon request. My impression is that few Jews feel they could ever live normally there.
I'm wishing that victims of other holocausts, Native American, for instance, could have similar memorials.

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