Stumbling block laying in Berlin 9 June 2015
The Cologne based conceptual artist Gunter Demnig has layed more than 50.000 “stumbling blocks” since 1992 in Germany and in 18 more European countries. Thus they form the largest decentralized memorial for people persecuted and murdered by the National Socialists. Each block carries a brazen plate with the name of a victim and is layed into the sidewalk in front of the location of where she or he once lived.
Demnig layed ten blocks on 9 June 2015 in Berlin on the bank of Spree river in front of the parliamentary Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus opposite the Reichstag commemorating former residents of the house at Schiffbauerdamm 29: Willy, Rosalie, Ruth and Abraham A. Hirsch, Ella Horowitz, Jacob, Max and Else Tichauer, Martin and Jenny Schwersenski.
Members of Parliament acted as sponsors for the campaign: Philipp Lengsfeld, Gitta Connemann, Michael Kretschmer, Thomas Oppermann, Eva Högl, Kerstin Griese, Petra Pau, Volker Beck und Ulle Schauws.
The idea behind the “stumbling blocks” is simple, but strong, linking history to individual fates and making the results of archival research, which are conventionally presented in the form of “memorial books” in libraries or online, broadly visible in an urban environment.