Lichtenfels: stumbling blocks as reminders along the way

"Stumbling blocks, those square brass plates, only about ten centimeters in size, are part of a european memorial and art project. They commemorate the expulsion and extermination of the jews, the politically persecuted and other victims of national socialism. In germany and 20 countries, over 61000 of these memorial plaques have now been placed on roads and bursts, and their number is increasing. The artist and initiator gunter demnig is already assigning installation dates for 2018. In the summer of next year it could also happen in lichtenfels.

A corresponding resolution of the main committee has been in place since the end of may. The committee, consisting of the mayor and ten city council members, unanimously approved the laying of "stolpersteine" (stumbling stones) in the public space. In the meantime there are four commitments for donations bound to this purpose. A "stumbling block costs 120 euros. Since in each case the first at a place the artist himself publishes, is for this the financial auand more roughly.

Almost exactly a year ago, the city council was still hesitant and postponed a decision by a large majority. During the discussion, the commercial side of the project was addressed, as well as an alternative memorial plaque in the front garden of the former synagogue in judengasse.

In the end, however, the supporters of the "stolpersteine" prevailed by. In this way, it can be made clear where jews or other persecuted people lived in the city. The memory of them is not pushed into a corner.

This aspect is also important to district curator of local history gunter dippold. "They lived among us, the crimes of the reichspogromnacht happened right through the city", he emphasizes. The historian will take a tour of the site on thursday, 9 a.M., to visit some of the most prominent points. November, drove.

There were numerous women, men and children who were given one of the intended "stolpersteine" in lichtenfels could be dedicated. Among them are people who not only became victims, but who had previously rendered outstanding services to the town. Among them were a number of basket traders whose villas still dominate the cityscape today. "There is no rabe named after any of them", notes professor dippold.

Remembrance culture is an issue close to his heart. He had already made this clear in 2011 in his speech at the inauguration of the former synagogue as a place of art, culture and encounter.

The in 18. Synagogue built in the nineteenth century was badly damaged during the reichspogromnacht in 1938. After the war, it was restored, but for decades it led a shadowy existence, among other things as a storage room. The purchase in 2005 by the city was controversial because of tight budgets and expected consequential costs. The complete renovation and conversion into a place of art, culture and encounters took one and a half years. The great-granddaughter of the penultimate chairman of the lichtenfels jewish community, sharon kohn from kansas city, loved to sing liturgical songs in it a few days after the inauguration. A moving moment. Another proof that today's commemoration of the victims is not about guilt, but about responsibility and becoming. It was also a matter of warning against inhumane ideologies, gunter dippold had already emphasized at the time. Virtually overnight, respected mitburgers had become despised jews. He thinks that it is more important than ever to point out such mechanisms today – after a party was elected to the bundestag in whose ranks the term "folkish" could be used again positively occupied.

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