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|Location Richard-Wagner-Str. 16 50674 Köln|
|Phone number 0221 251489|
|Open to visitors yes|
|Need appointment no|
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|Geographical Coordinates 50.93536,6.9352|
A Stolperstein (from German, "stumbling block"; plural Stolpersteine) is a monument created by Gunter Demnig which commemorates a victim of the Holocaust. Stolpersteine are small, cobblestone-sized memorials for an individual victim of Nazism. They commemorate individuals – both those who died and survivors – who were consigned by the Nazis to prisons, euthanasia facilities, sterilization clinics, concentration camps, and extermination camps, as well as those who responded to persecution by emigrating or committing suicide. While the vast majority of stolpersteine commemorate Jewish victims of the Holocaust, others have been placed for Sinti and Romani people (also called gypsies), homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, black people, Christians (both Protestants and Catholics) opposed to the Nazis, members of the Communist Party and the Resistance, military deserters, and the physically and mentally disabled. The list of places that have stolpersteine now extends to several countries and hundreds of cities and towns.
History and time period
Before the Shoah, it used to be the custom in Germany for Non-Jews to say, when they stumbled over a protruding stone: "There must be a Jew buried here".
Stolperstein in Hamburg for politician Max Eichholz (in German). After Demnig had the idea in 1993, the first exhibition took place in 1994 in Cologne. The then priest of the Antoniter church encouraged the project. In 1995, Demnig began to install stolpersteine on trial, without a permit, in Cologne; then in the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin. In 1996, he set out 55 stolpersteine in Berlin within the scope of the project “Artists Research Auschwitz”. In 1997, he mounted the first two stolpersteine for the Jehovah's Witnesses Matthias and Johann Nobis in St. Georgen, Austria on the suggestion of Andreas Maislinger, founder of Arts Initiative KNIE and the Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service. Four years later, he received permission to install 600 more stolpersteine in Cologne.