Last week I was privileged to attend a Stolpersteine Ceremony in the town of Olomouc in Czech Republic (3 hours from Prague). I was very honored to be invited to this important memorial by my friend, Jill Meron. Jill had only started researching her family in Czech Republic a little over a year ago and was able to give some closure to her relatives that had been victims of the Holocaust. It was especially poignant that all of her children were present at this ceremony.
Stolpersteine is literally a ‘stumbling stone’ inscribed with the name and life dates of victims of Nazi extermination or persecution. They are placed in front of the last known residence of the victims.
‘When Jewish cemeteries were destroyed throughout Nazi Germany, the gravestones were often repurposed as sidewalk paving stones. The desecration of the memory of the dead was implicitly intended, as people had to walk on the gravestones and tread on the inscriptions. The Stolpersteine provocatively hint at this act of desecration, as they lack any kind of defense against new acts of shame. While the art project thus intends to keep alive the memory, implying that improper acts could easily happen again, the intentional lack of defense against potential desecration also created criticism and concern.’ Wikipedia
It deeply saddens and angers me today that only a week after this remembrance of the Holocaust atrocity there was a shooting at a Synagogue in San Diego where I lived for many years. Seventy four years ago is not such a distant history and it horrifies me that there is still a constant threat to many people dear to me.