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Stolpersteine, or "stumbling blocks" are cobblestone-like memorials for individual victims of Nazism that are placed outside the last known residence of the person to whom the memorial is dedicated. The creator of this project is Gunter Demnig - do visit his website.

Westminster Synagogue cares for scroll number MST #931 from Horažd'ovice, and has chosen to sponsor Stolpersteine in memory of the Jews from this Bohemian town. On 14th September, Stolpersteine for members of the Adler family, the first names on the list of Jews transported to the concentration camps, were set into the pavement outside their house by Herr Demnig and his assistant. 

A further 11 Stolpersteine were laid on 3rd August 2015.

On his website, Herr Demnig cites the Talmud saying that 'a person is only forgotten when his or her name is forgotten.' The Stolpersteine in front of the buildings bring back to memory the people who once lived there. Each 'stone' begins with "Here lived ... One 'stone'. One name. One person."

Westminster Synagogue members Liliane Fredericks and Cynthia Landes were proud to represent their community in Horažd'ovice as they stood outside the former Jewish home and witnessed the start of the final piece of a project into which so much care and work have been invested. Rabbi Dr Thomas Salamon and Jeffrey Ohrenstein, Chairman of the Synagogue, dedicated the stones the next day in a ceremony attended by the town’s mayor. More stones will be laid at a later date to commemorate the other Jews who were deported from Horaz’dovice and murdered.

It is said that before the Shoah there was a custom in parts of Germany for non-Jews to say when they tripped over a protruding stone "Da liegt ein Jude begraben", i.e., 'A Jew is buried there'. Herr Demnig has taken this less than pleasant idiom and created an incredible monument of over 40,000 stones that remind us of all those who have no grave to mark their unjust death.

For more information about the Czech Scrolls and the work of the Memorial Scrolls Trust please go to their website.

Wed, 19 June 2024 13 Sivan 5784