New SoundMinds Radio Episode on Berlin’s Stolpersteine and Remembering in the City
If you look down at the footpath in Berlin you might see one of over 600 STOLPERSTEINE – Stumbling Stones. Artist Gunter Demnig is placing these small brass plaques in the path of our everyday lives to force us to remember the victims of National Socialism. Demnig’s commemorative brass plaques are embedded in the footpath out the front of each victim’s last known address. Individual and collective memory is important to Deming, who cites the Talmud, saying: “a person is only forgotten when his or her name is forgotten”.
Dr Danielle Drozdzewski says large-scale public memorials, like the one at ground zero in New York, are important sites of collective remembrance. But Danielle asks us to think about the remembrance of these types of events in the everyday. For Danielle, being forced to step over and look down at a Stolpersteine in the street in Berlin is, perhaps, a more confronting form of remembrance. This is a story about Demnig’s ” Stumbling Stones”, each one starting with a chilling reminder of who “HIER WOHNTE” – who “HERE LIVED”.