All over Berlin and other parts of Europe, are tiny memorials to individual victims of the Holocaust, and if you keep your eyes to the sidewalk, chances are you’ll see one or more on your explorations around the city. Collectively called Stolpersteine, they were conceptualized and executed by Berlin artist Gunter Demnig.
The world stolpersteine means stumbling block, a reference to the artist’s hope that people will stumble upon them while walking around. The small four-by-four brass plaques, which are inlaid in the sidewalk in place of a cobblestone, were usually placed in front of the victim’s last address of choice, forever memorializing their place in the neighborhood and community. Through this work, Demnig brings the focus to particular individuals and families, making the deaths more real and personal.
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