Those who stumble whilst hurrying on their way will be interrupted, at least for a brief moment. The intention of 'Ludwigshafen setzt Stolpersteine' is not to literally cause people to stumble when brass Stolpersteine (literally ‘stumbling stones’) are plastered into paving stones around various parts of the town centre in autumn 2007. The intention is to cause passers-by to pause, for these stones will have the names of individuals persecuted during the Third Reich engraved on them.
Stolpersteine is the brainchild of the Cologne-based artist Gunter Demnig, who is already responsible for the laying of these memorial stones commemorating the forgotten victims of the Third Reich in more than 200 towns. Archivists, teachers and various other interested citizens have taken up the idea in Ludwigshafen. The high attendance level at the project announcement, held in the city museum on 17 April, showed that there was a lot of local support for the initiative and that many young people were motivated enough to research the biographies of local people murdered or persecuted by the Nazis. Stolpersteine in Ludwigshafen is therefore intended as a lasting memorial to these victims. As part of the project, historical research needed to be carried out. Markus Sternlieb, Georg Hüter and Father Caroli are names well known to present-day Ludwigshafen residents. But for one group of students at the Carl-Bosch Gymnasium it was necessary to have to learn about these individuals who ‘disappeared’ during the Third Reich from Jewish teachers and students.
The first stones will be laid in Ludwigshafen by Gunter Demnig on 22 November 2007. The accompanying opening ceremony however, will be held on the 22 October, the day that Ludwigshafen’s Jews were deported to the Gurs concentration camp. The Stolpersteine in Ludwgishafen community group will meet in the town archives on a monthly basis until then to make preparations.
Dr. Eva Lohse, mayor of Ludwigshafen, has taken over as patron of the Stolpersteine project. The community group is currently distributing leaflets to attract interested volunteers. Donors have already been found for 16 Stolpersteine; the biographies of the names engraved on those stones will have been researched in advance. The stones will mostly be placed in front of the homes of the victims and permission will be sought from both the descendents of those victims and the current residents.
'Ludwigshafen setzt Stolpersteine' is grateful to all those who have taken part (or would like to) for donating their ideas, free time and labour.
Ludwigshafen setzt Stolpersteine e.V.
D -67059 Ludwigshafen
Placing of two stumbling blocks at 28.10.2013 before the Carl-Bosch-Gymnasium in Ludwigshafen, presented by the history class of grade 12
Stones, compact objects consisting of minerals or pieces of rock, which you can find all over the world.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: „Even if there are stones in your way, you can build something beautiful with them.”
Today two stones have been laid down in front of us.
People used to build walls in order to forget, to establish borders and to block.
Now, we are building bridges reminding us of a time full of sufferings, pain and injustice.
These stones will help us not to forget the things that have already happened.
Rocks, they have a stable connection to the ground, geologists would say a stable connection to their surrounding rock formation.
They are large and immovable, filled with stories over centuries.
We would like to call these stumbling stones stumbling rocks.
These rocks have an inseparable contact to a very sad part of the German history.
These rocks are small but big as well, enormous in their meaning thus reflecting the story of two persons, who we remember and honour today.
Thankfully, we want to look at the time we live in, because those two persons had to change their lives extremely because of an inhuman regime.
It is better to trip on new paths than to be stuck in one’s old tracks.
The stones that make you stumble are your signposts.