Tourists, in Germany today, can’t walk two feet down a city street without being confronted with memories of the Holocaust.
The following quote is the first sentence in a news article which you can read in full here: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/06/01/stolpersteine-memory-holocaust-victims-marks-path-along-european-streets.html
Reminders of Germany’s dark past confront 7-year-old Juri Hesselmann each morning as he walks to school with his father.
In the photo above, notice the cobblestones in the street on the right hand side. These cobblestones were laid hundreds of years ago, and millions of Germans have walked these streets in the past. Now a German citizen can’t walk two steps out of his house without being confronted with guilt about the Holocaust. When will this end? NEVER!
The following quote is from the news article:
The first Stolpersteine in Berlin were placed in 1996. Memorializing 50 Jewish residents of Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, they were the creation of German artist Gunter Demnig as part of an art project that examined Auschwitz, the German death camp in Nazi occupied Poland, where 1.1 million people were gassed, shot, beaten, or died from disease and hunger.
These first Stolpersteine were considered illegal. But the Berlin authorities later relented.
In the 20 years since, Demnig has placed nearly 60,000 Stolpersteine throughout Europe, from Norway to Greece, with more than 7,000 in Berlin alone. Astonished by the demand for these memorials, Demnig has acknowledged that the job has consumed his life.
Demnig now has an assistant, Michael Friedrichs-Friedlander, who was especially moved by the 34 plaques he made for orphans and their caregivers. These plaques were placed in front of an orphanage in Hamburg.
“They were between three and five years old,” Friedrichs-Friedlander told the German government broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “I couldn’t sleep for weeks.”
The plaques serve as constant reminders to the residents of neighborhoods like Juri’s that the Nazi death machine took so many Jews from the neighborhood. They force residents to think. How would they react if they had a Jewish neighbor who vanished in the night? What would you do if your neighbor were taken away today?
I have an alternative suggestion. Every resident of Germany should place a plaque, with the name of a Jew who cheated him or her, on the street in front of his or her residence.
Note that the news article mentions that 1.1 million Jews were killed at Auschwitz. This is down from the 4 million deaths that were originally claimed at Auschwitz. However, this does not change the sacred 6 million number of Jewish deaths.
The following quote is also from the news article cited above:
According to Helmut Lolhoffel, a spokesman for the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Stolpersteine project, there were 13,200 Jewish residents deported from this area of Berlin and murdered by the Nazis. The Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf area includes Juri’s neighborhood. Altogether there were 55,000 Jews deported from Berlin and killed.
Lolhoffel, 72, whose parents were Nazis, said that Germans must forever commemorate the victims of the Nazis.
“The Stolpersteine are our permanent reminders,” said Hesselmann, noting that their importance grows as the number of survivors who can tell the story of the Holocaust shrinks.
My photo above shows the Kaiser Wilhelm Church, which was built at the end of the 19th century; it was destroyed by British bombs in November 1943. Part of the ruins have been preserved as a memorial. A new modern church and a tower have been built beside it.
I have a section on my scrapbookpages.com website about Berlin: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Berlin2002/index.html