Though today’s article will probably be my shortest, it is perhaps the greatest of significance.
I was overwhelmed by the stolperstein (stumbling block) plaques that we found embedded in some of the cobblestone streets of Rome.
These plaques were placed outside the former residences of Jews who were taken away to concentration camps by the Germans. Yes, the Jews of Italy suffered the same fate as others in Europe.
This original snapshot shows two such plaques.
In this transformed version, you are able to read the inscriptions.
Here is what these two plaques say:
These stumbling blocks are a type of monument created by German artist Gunter Demnig beginning in 1992 to commemorate victims of Nazi oppression. Stolpersteins are small, cobblestone-sized memorials for individual victims of Nazism. They commemorate individuals who were taken by the Nazis to prisons, euthanasia facilities, sterilization clinics, concentration camps, and extermination camps.
Why the term ‘stumbling block’? Before the Holocaust, it used to be the custom in Germany for non-Jews to say, on stumbling over a protruding stone, "There must be a Jew buried here." There’s an historical irony here that’s hard for me to get my head around.
Do you know that there are people who to this day deny the existence of the holocaust?
May God bless those who suffered the Nazi’s atrocities.
Ciao for now,