German artist nears 100,000 cobblestones for Nazi victims

German artist nears 100,000 cobblestones for Nazi victims
Image: Reuters

According to a German artist who plans to lay the 100,000th cobblestone honoring people killed and deported by Nazis says demand is higher than ever.

Gunter Demnig, 75, lays Stolpersteine (“stumble stones”) at the last known addresses of Holocaust victims to bring awareness. Demnig originally laid stones in Berlin and Cologne three decades ago.

They have 100,000 cobblestones across 30 European countries, ranging from Finland to Italy, Hungary, Russia, and Ukraine. “I never dreamed of this,” Demnig remarked, anticipating a few hundred or 1,000 stones.

“I was naive enough to believe that it would have to decrease at some point but it’s the opposite: interest is increasing.” He plans to place 100,000 stones this year.

Gunter Demnig, a Stolpersteine artist, remembers Holocaust victims in German areas. Demnig embosses the name, birth date, and circumstances of death by hand at his workshop. He physically places the majority of the stones that anybody may request, utilizing donations and sponsorship from individuals, businesses, and institutions.

Why don’t I do it in a factory? Auschwitz was a concentration camp. “That’s why I want the plaques’ writing to be hand-hammered,” he said.

The stones in front of the buildings remember the people who lived there, following the Talmud’s teaching that a person is only forgotten when his or her name is forgotten.

They memorialize all victims of the Holocaust, including Jews, Sinti and Roma, political opponents, LGBT people, and “antisocial elements”.

People and tourists in Berlin stop to appreciate the stones that sparkle on grey pavements and sometimes have flowers on them.

“We’ve got an ‘antisocial’ mother.” The child was sent to a children’s home, and Demnig remarked, “Both were murdered.” As he placed two stones outside their Cologne house. Demnig is eager to delegate yet motivated to continue working. “I’ll keep going if my knees are okay,” he said.

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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