"Stolpersteine" / Stones of Remembrance #germany



To my knowledge the "Stolpersteine" initiative was started in Germany in the early 1990ies, by the artist Gunther Demnig. Unfortunately, in my view, he named those memory stones for Holocaust victims "Stolpersteine". I think this was a very unfortunate naming because in German "stolpern" has a negative connotation. "Stolpern", stumbling, means you are struggling to walk because of a barrier, an obstacle. So in a wider sense "Stolpersteine" are barriers which make one struggling. I think the artist's intention was to force people thinking of the Shoah victims as a consequence of "stolpern" (stumbling) because of the stone in the pavement. From an artistic point of view a honorable strategy but I still believe the naming "Stolpersteine" was by far not the best idea.

In my home country Austria those stones got named "Steine der Erinnerung" ("Stones of Remembrance") which is, in my view a much better, dignified name. The name describes what all is about, namely to remember victims of the Shoah in front of the house where they used to live. Myself I have funded a STONE OF REMEMBRANCE for my great grand-parents.

What is your opinion?

Kindest regards,
Alexander Burstein

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