As you walk around Frankfurt or any other German city or town you may see small brass cobblestones set into the sidewalk. These are Stolperstein or Stumblestones. They will have a persons’ name on it, their birth date and execution date. These have been installed in memory of individuals who were killed by the Nazis. Many are for Jewish victims, but you will find them for people who were killed because they were Roma/Sinti, Homosexual, Jehovah Witness, Socialists, Communists, victims of the T-4 Program, and anyone who was seen as a threat to the Nazi regime.
Over 70,000 Stumble stones have been installed in Germany and 24 other countries. Frankfurt now has 1500 as of 22 Oct. 2019, with more being installed each year. On 23 Oct. 2018, the 70,000th Stumblestone was installed in Frankfurt.
You will find these stones in Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, France, Belgium, Italy, Greece, and many other European countries.
These will be in front of the homes where people last lived of their own free will. Different groups or organizations pay for the installation. If any family members are alive, they are invited to come for the installation.
Keep your eyes open for these stones, and if you find one, you can look the person up on the website. Though it is in German, you can use a translation program like Babblefish, to read about these people. What really hits hard is when you find a whole group of these stumble stones together and realize the entire family was deported and killed.
On 22 June 2013, the first 2 Stolperstein for the Jehovah Witnesses from Frankfurt, were installed, with plans for 13 more. The Nazis deported 150 Frankfurt Jehovah Witnesses and 15 were killed. On 17 Oct. 2013, Stolperstein were installed for 8 professors from the Goethe University.
We stop at various stumble stones during our “Frankfurt on Foot” walking tour and explain more about them.
List of names and locations in Frankfurt: