Food for Thought
Stolperstein isn’t a very familiar term. Indeed, it is not English but German. It is the term that literally means stumbling stone or stumbling block. The term describes 4″x4″ concrete cubes that rise up off the ground in various cities within Germany. Brass plates are affixed to the cubes with the names of Jewish individuals with their birth dates and dates of death inscribed upon them. The locations of the Stolperstein are the places where Nazis arrested Jewish individuals and sent them to the concentration camps. Literally, people in Germany stumble over these memorials on a daily basis. The Stolperstein exist as a critical–and unavoidable–reminders of this very tragic part of German history. Communities in Germany elected to use the cubes as one way to keep the legacy of Nazism squarely in front of them. And by doing so, even the most mundane location becomes not only a teaching opportunity but a memorial so that the innocent will not be forgotten.
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