This exhibition ended on 3 February 2019
People are only forgotten when their names are forgotten
This idea, derived from the Jewish mourning tradition, inspired the German artist Gunther Demnig to make his artwork 'Stumbling Stones'. Over a period of more than twenty years, he has placed around 70,000 copper-coloured stones in the pavements and sidewalks of now 24 countries. Each stone bears a name and is virtually always located in front of the house of the person who used to live there. Passers-by 'stumble' over the small monument in the pavement by accident and get carried along with that tradition of not forgetting. The Stumbling Stones remind us of all those individual victims of the Nazi regime, during the Second World War.
In the Dutch public space, the artwork is a tangible addition to the Joodsmonument.nl and to the Open Jewish Houses that are coordinated each year from the Jewish Cultural Quarter. The lives of the victims take centre stage in that monument and during those remembrance ceremonies as well. By using their names, addresses, the compositions of their families, and the courses of their lives, we can remember the Jews of the Netherlands who were killed during the Holocaust as individuals.
The copper-coloured stones have already been placed in countless locations in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam, where over 80,000 Jews lived on the eve of the Holocaust, there are now around 500 Stumbling Stones. That number increases each year. Demnig places stones for other victims of the Nazi regime as well.
The Jewish Cultural Quarter presents the temporary exhibition Stumbling Stones. Remembrance and social sculpture at the National Holocaust Museum i.o., in cooperation with the Embassy of Germany. The exhibition displays a number of personal stories behind Stumbling Stones in Germany. The museum's event programme also pays attention to personal histories behind Stumbling Stones in the Netherlands.