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Stolpersteine production in the Netherlands (Goethe Institut)
June 1 - June 30Free
“A man is only forgotten when his name is forgotten,” quotes Gunter Demnig from the Talmud. By placing stones in front of houses, the memory of the people who once lived here comes to life.
Stolpersteine, designed in 1992 by the German artist Gunter Demnig, are memorial stones with a brass surface that commemorate the victims of National Socialism in the Second World War. Each handmade stone bears the name of one person with the year of birth and their fate. The memorial stones are usually placed in the sidewalk in front of the victim’s last self-selected residence. The idea is to preserve the memory of the former inhabitants of those houses.
The increased demand for Stolpersteine in the Netherlands in recent years has resulted in long waiting times for the next of kin, relatives, residents, neighbourhood associations, and organizations that have applied for the stones.
‘To remedy this, Gunter Demnig has devised a solution, namely to produce Stolpersteine directly in the Netherlands,’ says Alexander Stukenberg, director of the Stolpersteine Foundation in the Netherlands. In April, Stukenberg received training by Gunter Demnig and Stolpersteine designer Mario Schulz. He has learned how to make the texts in the brass plates with the help of a hammer and percussion letters. From June, Stukenberg will officially start working for the STIFTUNG – SPUREN – GUNTER DEMNIG Foundation, while he also leads the Stolpersteine Foundation in the Netherlands as a volunteer.
The German ambassador Dirk Brengelmann emphasizes: ‘Three quarters of the Jewish population of the Netherlands was murdered during the German occupation 1940-1945 – more than in any other country in Western Europe. There were more than 200,000 victims of National Socialist terror. The fact that the production of Stolpersteine in the Netherlands now gives us the opportunity to commemorate all victims individually is very important to us.’
The STIFTUNG – SPUREN – GUNTER DEMNIG will start production of Stolpersteine in Amsterdam from June . The memorial stones are made in a specially set up studio in the garden of the Goethe-Institut on the Herengracht. This third creative workshop next to Berlin and Elbenrod will significantly reduce waiting times for applicants for Stolpersteine in the Netherlands and will allow more bricks to be placed in the future. The Amsterdam Stolperstein is the only one outside of Germany.
Interested visitors are welcome and can follow the production process of the Stolpersteine through the large windows. At the moment, visits are possible only upon request. Visit the website of the Goethe Institut to know more about this inicative.