In Berlin, the Smallest Monuments Leave Biggest Impression

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In Berlin, the Smallest Monuments Leave Biggest Impression In Berlin, the Smallest Monuments Leave Biggest Impression
Culture

In Berlin, the Smallest Monuments Leave Biggest Impression

by Yasha Wallin

May 5, 2013


The plaques were the brainchild of 63-year-old German artist Gunter Demnig. "It goes beyond our comprehension to understand the killing of six million Jews," Mr. Demnig told the New York Times in an interview. ''But if you read the name of one person, calculate his age, look at his old home and wonder behind which window he used to live, then the horror has a face to it.'' For many Jews and otherwise, these small tokens of remembrance act like the graves they never had for family members.

But the Stolpersteine aren’t only in my neighborhood. Demnig has now helped place 32,000 plaques in hundreds of cities and towns, which requires working seven days a week. It would be impossible to lay six million stones to commemorate the same number of people that perished in death camps, but the artist insists that’s not the point. Every Stolpersteine laid is meant to symbolize all the victims.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

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