3rd Stolperstein ceremony - Thomasiusstrasse, Moabit, Berlin #general


Judith Elam
 

I have previously posted about the unprecedented Stolperstein project in
process, to honor Jewish victims who used to live on Thomasiusstrasse,
Moabit, Berlin. It all started in July 2012, when the last of several
Stolpersteine I had initiated was laid in front of #3 - in honor of Walter
WEISSTEIN, a 2nd cousin of my father's. It was the only stone on this short
street at that time. It immediately attracted the attention of a neighbor
next door, who distributed fliers to residents of the street, to see if
anyone else was interested in finding out if there were any other victims on
the street, and to get stones laid for them too. I have been assisting the
residents to find living relatives, many of whom have been present at the
Stolperstein ceremonies of their relatives. Some have even been hosted by
the current occupants of the apartment their parents and grandparents once
occupied.

Today about 65 residents are involved, and they have found 115 victims on
this short street. All the Stolpersteine are being sponsored by these
residents. The first group of 39 stones were laid in August 2014. 20 more
were laid in March 2015. 19 more stones will be laid on June 24, 2015. The
ceremony will start at 10.30 am at #13 Thomasiusstrasse. A cantor will
participate. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be a reception in a
nearby community hall afterwards.

This project was featured in the Sunday edition of Die Welt am Sonntag on
November 2nd, 2014 as a front page article. It was 5 pages long.
http://www.welt.de/lesestueck/2014/stolpersteine/

This is the first time this newspaper has ever featured such a long front
page article. This is also the first time residents of a single street have
banded together to honor their former Nachbarn - neighbors. It has been a
very emotional journey for all involved, but strong bonds have been formed
between the living relatives and the "godparents" of these stones, and
between the neighbors themselves, who didn't know each other before. Many
people's lives have been changed forever.

I will be present at this 3rd Stolperstein ceremony, and am honored to be
giving a speech (in English!) afterwards. If you are in Berlin at that
time, please do come. It would be nice to have a strong Jewish presence!
You may even get to glimpse Queen Elizabeth as she travels down the nearby
Spree river at exactly the same time, on her way to visit Chancellor Merkel!

Judith Elam
Kihei, HI
elamj@hawaii.rr.com

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