Day of remembrance: the Stolpersteines

In 2005 the UN resolution n. 60/7 established the International Day of Remembrance. Decision was taken to remember the victims of the holocaust, every year, on January 27th. It is in fact on January 27th, 1945, that the Red Army entered the contentration camp of Auschwitz and discovered the atrocities of the Nazis.

Through the centuries there have been many genocides, at every corner of the planet. The holocaust is one of them, possibly the most ferocious and deliberated one. My feelings also go to the victims of other genocides which are less know and less talked about, altough they do also deserve to be remembred. Thus let me take advantage of the Day of Remembrance to spare a thought for all those people whose survival has been threatened by several attemps and in some cases are still coping with such a menace.

One of the most genuine ways to remember the victims of the holocaust was found by a German artists, named Gunter Demnig who, by quoting the Talmud, said that “a person is only forgotten when his or her name is forgotten”, thus in 1990 in the city of Cologne he decided to place a squared brass plate, shaped as a roman cobblestone, in front of the door of a house which was the last residence of choice of a victim of the holocaust. He called it “stolpersteine” (the stumbling stones) aimed at attracting the sight of anyone walking by the house and let us spare a thought for that person who was dragged out of it and brought to a concentration camp.

The initiative was successful thus nowadays the stolpersteines are found in 76 cities in Europe and are considered as an open air museum, aimed at keeping a perpetual memory of those who were never came back from the concentration camps.

Stolpersteine in Torino

In the city of Torino, were I live, there was quite a large Jewish community before world war II but several members were brought to various concentration camps and never came back. This is the reason why, among the 76 cities were stolpersteines are found within the whole European territory, Torino is the one with the highest number, counting, at the present date, 114 Stolpersteine.

The concept is pretty simple: the brass plate indicates that the buiding in front of it is the last home of choice by a person whose name, birthdate, death date and the concentration camp where it was kept, are written.

Stolpersteine – Torino

There is not a fixed number of stolpersteines to be placed: the number depends on the donations received aimed at remembering a victim. Those who want to dedicate a stolpersteine in their city can call their municipalities and make a donation to place it before the last home of a holocaust victim.

Should you be willing to make a donation and ask for a new stolpersteine to be placed in Torino, you can contact Museo della Resistenza (the museum dedicated to the history of the liberation from the Nazis) which manages the stolpersteines placing in the city of Torino. Find their contact here

Torino is a magnificent and very elegant city. The Stolpersteines (pietre di inciampo) are anothoer good reason to schedule a visit. There is much to learn about about that horrific time of our history.

Stolpersteine – Torino

My last thought for todays goes to all my readers because yesterday reached the number of 100 email subscribers. Thanks for following. From Italy with love.

6 thoughts on “Day of remembrance: the Stolpersteines

  1. While I acknowledge the good intentions behind this, it still brings a lot of mixed feelings for me. The major difference between this genocide and others, is that it wasn’t a one time occurrence due to war, but a result of many many years of persecutions and antisemitism, that are still going strong today…

    Liked by 1 person

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