Modern Software Experience

2010-04-29

Stumbling Stones

Loeb family

On Thursday 2010 April 8, Günter Demnig laid four brass-sheeted stones into the sidewalk in front of  bookstore De Kler on the Breestraat in Leiden.
These stones contains the names and some vital data for four members of the Loeb family, Ernst Loeb, Jenny Rose and two of their children, Hans and Herbert. Breestaat 161 was their last known address before the Nazis arrested them and deported them, via Westerbork, to Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt, where they were murdered.

Stolpersteine

The stones are there for passersby to stumble across; to notice and be reminded of those who once lived there and met an untimely end as victims of the Nationalsozialismus.

Stolpersteine

The German artist Günter Demnig started the stolpersteine (stumbling stones) project  in 1993 . In 1997, he placed the first stolpersteine in Berlin-Kreuzberg without approval. These were legalised later. Since then, he has placed more than twenty thousand stolpersteine.

Back in 1997, each stone started with the two words hier wohnte (here lived). As the project grew to include other countries, stones where written in the local language. The Dutch struikelstenen start with hier woonde.

Each stone then list the victim’s name and some vital data. In genealogy, we generally tend to consider birth dates as more important than death dates, but stolpersteine are about untimely deaths. Many stolpersteine list approximate birth dates but exact death dates. Most stolpersteine are bare biographies that simply list the cold fact; the subsequent locations where the person was forced to live the rest of their lives, the sequence of camps where the person was held until their death. The word used for the last event on a stolperstein isn’t some neutral word like verstorben (deceased), but a harsh word like ermordet (murdered); a brutal word to remind of a brutal end.

Stolpersteine Loeb family

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