Thursday, 2 July 2015

Stumbling Stones

All around Germany, if one pays attention, or if one just happens to look down a lot, these stones start appearing everywhere. These "stumbling stones" are in fact a huge art project by Gunter Demnig, and there are thousands of them. Here are some I've come across. Each one begins "Here lived" and is placed in front of the last known residence of a victim of the Holocaust. In Mainz, they are all over, which tells me that Jews and other victims were well-integrated into the community, and not living isolated in a single quarter.

In addition to the names, they give the birth name and year as well as the person's fate.Sometimes there is just one, sometimes it's a whole family. Each is a little history lesson as well as a memorial.

Deported from Mainz to Piaski (Poland), where they died. Probably mother and child.

A family of 3: the child was sent on a "kindertransport" to Holland in 1939 and age 15, but was interned, deported to Auschwitz, and killed. The parents fled to Belgium, also in 1939, and the mother was also killed in Auschwitz. The father was declared dead, specific fate evidently unknown. The series of decisions this family had to make is heartbreaking to contemplate.

Appears to be three generations in Mainz: the grandparents "humiliated and disenfranchised" committed suicide, the mother and daughter fled to France but were interned, deported, and killed in Auschwitz.

Fled at 17 in 1939 from Mainz to France, was interned, deported, and killed in Auschwitz.

Deported in 1942 from Worms, declared dead in 1945.

Deported at age 13 from Berlin, killed in Auschwitz

Deported from Berlin to Theresienstadt and killed in Auschwitz

Parents  "humiliated and disenfranchised" committed suicide, adult child deported and killed in Auschwitz.

Probably mother and daughter.

Denounced and arrested in 1942, died in Buchenwald
Frau Betram was "humiliated and disenfranchised" and committed suicide. Her neighbor Frau Mosbach was deported to Lublin and died in Sobibor.
In front of the former Gestapo headquarters in Freiburg. These are a little different as they're not where the individuals lived.  
Eugenie Ruf fled to France from Freiburg and survived in hiding. Max Ruf fled to Switzerland and France, was incarcerated in 1939 in a camp in Paris, did compulsory labor for the foreign legion in Morocco, and survived.
The Ullmans were deported from Freiburg in 1940 and died in 1942.

This woman was  93 or 94 years old when she was deported from Mainz to Theresienstadt, where she died.