Stolpersteine Art Project in Memory of the Victims of the Nazi Regime
Before WWII, Hamburg had one of the largest Jewish communities in Germany and a significant Roma population. Under the Nazi regime, many members of these communities, as well as homosexuals, disabled people and political adversaries were prosecuted, deported and murdered. Jewish life in Hamburg was erased almost entirely. Today, the many Stolpersteine (commemorative cobblestones) around the city are reminders of the Jewish and non-Jewish victims of Nazi oppression.
Artist Günther Demnig founded the Stolpersteine art project in 1995 to commemorate the victims of fascism by placing commemorative cobblestones in front of their former homes. The German verb ‘stolpern’ means ‘to stumble’ ─ indicating that passersby are meant ‘stumble over’ these small yet gripping memorials.
The cubic cobblestones are made of concrete, their upper side is covered in brass. Every stone is engraved individually, informing the passerby about the name and date of birth and death of people who lived there.
The Stolpersteine are only about 10x10x10cm, but they are part of a Europe-wide commemoration project. In total, there are about 56,000 of these stones laid out all over the world. Every month, around 400 new ones are added to the project. In Hamburg alone, you can find 5,000 of these stones. In front of City Hall, 20 stones are dedicated to the murdered members of the Hamburg Parliament legislative assembly. On Grindelhof, 18 cobblestones commemorate the teachers of a Jewish school.
Today, the Stolpersteine are part of a broader research project about the lives of minorities under the Nazi regime. If you want to find out more, the ‘Infoladen der Landeszentrale für politische Bildung’ information point should be your first destination. It can be reached easily via U1 underground, exit Stephansplatz or bus lines M4, M5, 34, 36, 109, 112, exit Stephansplatz.
Dammtorstraße 14, 20354 Hamburg
+49 40 428234808
Mon ─ Thu 12:30 p.m. ─ 5:00 p.m.
Fri 12:30 p.m. ─ 4:30 p.m.