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NEWS FROM FJC

"Stumbling stone": A Monument to Holocaust Victims on the Streets of Belgrade and Zrenjanin

"I don't know where my grandfather died or where he was buried, but at least I know the place where he lived on his own free will. I hope that I will pay tribute to him by going to the place where he lived with his family, the place which is now marked with a stumbling stone bearing his name: Alexander Brill", wrote for the "Globe Post" Julie Brill, the granddaughter of one among the 14,500 Jews killed in Serbia during the World War II. She lives in America.

Because of Julie Brill’s initiative, which the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia took over, Belgrade will become one of the cities with a unique monument- the "Stumbling stone" , dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust, whose author is the German artist Gunter Demnig.

"Stolpersteine", which is the original name for "Stumbling stone", is placed as a monument for all Nazi victims; both for those who perished in concentration camps, as well as those who escaped death and survived by going to Palestine or America.

"It is a project that has already come to life in Europe, and we're new to it. "Stolpersteine", was created back in 1993, and the first stone was laid in Berlin in 1996. So far, 70.000 stumbling stones have been laid in Europe, as well as in USA" explained Danijela Danon, Secretary General of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Serbia. The request for placing "Stumbling stones" was recently accepted by the Commission for Monuments and Squares and Streets Names of the Belgrade City Assembly.

Demnig envisioned that "stones" with tiles would be placed in front of the houses where the victims of Nazi persecution last lived on their own free will, and in Belgrade they will be placed on five locations: Kosmajska 9, Solunska 8, Dobračina 30, Gundulićev venac 53, and Andre Nikolića Street 29. In that way Belgrade will become part of over 2.000 places around the world, which have this unique monument.

Zrenjanin first gets "Stolpersteine"

However, Belgrade will not be the first city in Serbia to become a part of this global monument. On August 18th, 2021, Zrenjanin was the first city in which the artist Demnig personally placed the first stone. This date marks the eightieth anniversary of suffering of almost the entire Jewish population of that city.

Text and photo source: Euronews.rs


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