Stumbling stones into the past

Fascinating and sad fact about the streets of Freiburg, Germany.


During my first visit to Freiburg, one of the things that most impressed me was the meticulously cobbled streets. So precisely cut are the stones that you can walk on them for hours without tiring — and the mosaics are as much of a feast for the eyes as the shop windows above them.

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But it wasn’t until a recent visit that I noticed some small brass markers glimmering among the stones.

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These Stolpersteine — literally, “stumbling stones” — are the work of artist Gunter Demnig, who since 1993 has been placing the small memorials in front of the buildings where Holocaust victims once lived or worked.

As of August 2014, he had placed more than 48,000 such stumbling stones in 18 European nations.

Stolpersteine Twitter

The Stolpersteine list names, dates, and various fates — all engraved simply into each marker.

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Stefan Maier 1200133 BLOG

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The inscriptions are spare, but the stumbler can still infer…

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