These words were spoken on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 by the Mayor of the City of Gelnhausen, Thorsten Stolz, at the laying of the first 35 “Stolpersteins” by the artist Gunter Demnig. Over 100 people were present at the occasion. The Gelnhausen Stolperstein Group (Interessengemeinschaft Stolpersteine Gelnhausen) has made its aim the restoration of their names to the victims of National Socialism, i.e. the Nazis. Sites which are historically authentic are used for this purpose.
A “Stolperstein” is a 10 x 10 cm stone with a brass plate. This is placed in front of the house where the person was last resident. The brass plate is embossed with the victim’s name, date of birth, date of death and place of death. The name “Stolperstein” means “Stumbling Stone”. The idea is that the passer-by should mentally stumble over the memorial in the sidewalk.
"Stolpersteins" is a project of the artist Gunter Demnig, who to date has laid some 40,000 stones in Germany and abroad. In explanation Gunter Demnig says: "A human being is only forgotten when his name is forgotten.“
On the following pages you will find, besides a description of our activities, an overview of the Stolpersteins laid to date in Gelnhausen, photographs taken at the laying ceremonies and other events, and our contact details.