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A Ubiquitous Memorial

pubblicato in: Inbal Ben-Asher Gitler (a cura di) Monuments and Site-Specific Sculpture in Urban and Rural Space, atti del convegno Monuments, Site-Specific Sculpture and Urban Space, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 18 dicembre 2014, Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

A Contradiction in Terms

Set against the vast backdrop of monuments and memorials, the following essay deals with the Stolpersteine (Stumbling Stones) by the German artist Gunter Demnig, focusing on their properties through a comparison with similar or antithetical examples.

Two preliminary aspects of this work should be explained at the outset: First, what are the Stolpersteine? The Stolpersteine are an art project dedicated to the memory of all the people deported by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945 all over Europe for whatever reason: racial, political, military, Roma, Sinti, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, disabled, victims of euthanasia. Simple 10- × 10-cm paving stones, covered by shiny brass plaques, etched with only few details, prefaced by the words “here lived”: the deportee’s name, date of birth, date and place of deportation, and date of death in an extermination camp. Set in the sidewalk in front of what was the deportee’s home, they mark the boundary between domestic life and the unknown.

Second: what makes the Stolpersteine a turning point in the history of memorials to the extent that they deserve to be included in the category of “counter-monuments” or “monuments by defect“[1]? Their very structure and position contravene many attributes of traditional monuments. They do not take up any space: embedded in the street, they are invisible until we stumble upon them, not by intention but by pure chance – not a physical, but a mental and psychological stumbling. Despite this discreet presence, once installed they become an integral part of the city, of its toponymy. This renders them extremely unsettling, as demonstrated by repeated acts of vandalism. Some of the Stolpersteine have been spattered with paint to obliterate the truth they proclaim and others have been pulled from the ground, which was the case of three stones dedicated to the Spizzichino family, which were installed right in front of the Ministry of Justice in Rome.[2]

Yet, what makes the Stolpersteine truly unique is their ubiquity. They are the first Europe-wide “ubiquitous memorial”: a contradiction in terms. If we consider uniqueness, a hypertrophic dimension, centrality, staticity, hierarchy, persistence, symmetry, rhetoric, indifference to place, durable materials, eloquence, and the expropriation of emotions as specific characteristics generally attributed to monuments, the Stolpersteine represent a radical alternative. In the seminal text The Culture of Cities, written in 1938 as Europe stood on the brink of World War II, the great American sociologist Lewis Mumford expressed a contradiction of comparative importance when referring to the binomial “monument-modernity“: “The very notion of a modern monument is a contradiction in terms; if it is a monument, it cannot be modern, and if it is modern, it cannot be a monument.”[3]

Mumford reconsidered his position in 1957 and, with reference to the Mausoleum of the Ardeatine Caves in Rome built in 1950, wrote: “Images and words do not render justice to this monument; we must live and experience its contrasts, the eloquent omissions; we must repeat the pilgrimage.”[4] To paraphrase Mumford and speak of the Stolpersteine, then, it can be said: “If it is a monument, it cannot be ubiquitous, and it if is ubiquitous, it cannot be a monument.” The Stolpersteine are in fact a “horizontal” monument that expands like an oil slick, impossible to predict, potentially infinite, and transnational. They catch one by surprise, attracting attention with their shiny surfaces while one is walking in a city’s historic center, in middle-class and residential districts, or in housing estates and working-class suburbs, wherever the opponents of Nazi Fascism once lived.

The Stolpersteine refute the centrality and centripetal force of the monument, the occupation of a prominent urban site to centrifugally expand out into the city and draw a map of the deportations that occurred within it. Their ubiquity derives from the fact that, unlike a monument that represents a plurality of individual stories in one unique work, the Stolpersteine, as the historian Régine Robin points out, deconstruct and split so-called “collective memory”[5] into a multitude of individual stories, translating the abstract and incommensurable number of 10,000,000 victims of Nazi Fascism, into ten million individuals whose dignity is restored simply by recording their names and tragic fates. As Gérard Wajcman noted in regard to the memorial 2146 Stones – Monument against Racism (2146 Steine – Mahnmal gegen Rassismus) by Jochen Gerz (b.1940) erected in Saarbrücken in 1993, which I discuss further on: “In this case, memory is above all a memory of names. Auschwitz is the proper name for the heart of darkness of the twentieth century. It is the proper name for that which was the Shoah: the destruction of six million names.”[6]

Equal in form, dimensions, materials, typeface, and value, differing only in the stories they recount, though all with the same tragic end, the Stolpersteine can be defined as the first “democratic” and nonhierarchical memorial: each neighborhood has its own monument to its own fallen. On the day announced for an installation, in each municipality the families of victims, residents, institutions, students, and their teachers await the arrival of the artist, who installs “their” monument. It is not the inhabitants of a neighborhood who converge toward the “center” to visit the monument, but it is the monument that comes to them, teaching them about the history of their part of the city. With a daring and blasphemous comparison, it could be said that between the monument and the Stolpersteine there exists the same difference as that which separates Temple Mount from the plurality of the synagogues of the Diaspora, the centrality of a nation from the nomadism of dispersion.


The Artist

Born in Berlin in 1947, Gunter Demnig began his studies in art pedagogy at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin with Professor Herbert Kaufmann some 20 years later. He studied industrial design at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin between 1969 and 1970; art at the University of Kassel with Harry Kramer from 1971 to 1977, and restoration, planning, and management of monuments, again in Kassel from 1977 to 1979. In 1985 he opened a studio in Cologne, where, since 1994, he has also been curating a series of exhibitions at the IGNIS Cultural Centre. Since 1987 he has been a member of the Internationales Künstler Gremium (International Artists Forum).[7] In 2004 the Alfred Toepfer Foundation in Hamburg awarded him the Max-Brauer-Prize and the Herbert Wehner-Medal, followed in 2005 by the German Jewish History Award from the Obermayer Foundation.

According to the sculptor Wolfgang Hahn, Demnig embodies the classic “can’t-be-done-doesn’t-exist!” type. He is an inventor and a designer, the kind of genius whose brain is in his fingers. Always in motion, he works continuously. The bigger the challenge, the better: work as deliverance.[8]

Between 1980 and 1985 Demnig produced eight works or “actions” in the landscape involving the continuous marking of his route. In 1980 he made an 818-km long white trail of letters using a “printing machine” to write the words Duftmarken Kassel – Paris from Kassel to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which took 24 days. Blood Trail (Kassel-London), executed in 1981, consists of a three-wheeled machine, adapted from parts of a bicycle and resembling a road or sports ground marker, and a strip of canvas 600 mm wide, marked with a line of pig’s blood. These objects survive from a 680-km trip that Demnig made from the Kunstakademie, Kassel, to the front steps of the Tate Gallery. The artist undertook the greater part of this journey on foot but also traveled by car and by ferry. The machine and the canvas are now part of the Tate’s permanent collection. Ariadne’s Thread (Ariadne-Faden), created in 1982, was a trail of thread from Kassel to Venice, linking the Kassel Documenta with the Venice Biennale. The next, related, project was the Kreidekreis, a chalk circle describing a 40-km radius around the city of Wuppertal, which he did in 1983.

Since 1981 Demnig has been producing a series of “hydraulic sculptures” consisting of telescopic cylinders of soldered sheet zinc, each marked with a brass plaque. This cycle includes Circuitus (Fig. 1), a gravestone he erected in 2011 for the Artist Necropolis in Kassel. A project that was the brainchild of Harry Kramer, Artist Necropolis involved the construction of forty gravestones in an abandoned quarry on the outskirts of Kassel, near the Blue Lake, for the graves of the artists who designed them. In the words etched on plaques, on strips of lead, and on tree barks with the date, we can discern his favored “spokesmen” – people and public space. In 1992, at the height of a wave of racist attacks on foreigners living in Germany, Demnig stood up for human rights and etched the text of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 on billboards around Cologne.[9]


Starting from the Sinti

In 1990, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the deportation of 1,000 Sinti from Cologne, Demnig was invited to create an artwork by the Kölner Rom e.V., an association that fosters dialogue among Cologne’s citizens of all ethnic backgrounds. He traced the words Mai 1940­ 1,000 Roma und Sinti repeatedly on a 12-km-long banner, unfurled by a wheeled machine that he built himself (Fig. 2), which retraced the route from the Sinti dwellings to the railway station.[10] The work marked the beginning of an ongoing artistic process in which Demnig addresses the crimes of the Nazi regime. After 3 years, as the banner disintegrated, pressure from local citizenry led to the same text being etched into brass plates and set into the ground in twenty-two places in the city.

By 1992, at the time of the debate about welcoming Roma refugees fleeing former Yugoslavia, Demnig had already installed the first Stolperstein in front of the Town Hall in Cologne: the letters punched into the brass quote the first words of Heinrich Himmler’s 1942 decree ordering the deportation of the Sinti and Roma to Auschwitz. A complaint from a bigoted elderly woman who declared that gypsies had never lived in the neighborhood prompted Demnig to increase and expand his project.[11] If it was possible to negate events in one’s own backyard, just imagine how easy it would be to deny those in faraway places! Hence, he made the decision, more ethical than artistic, to develop a project on memory that would neatly, but undeniably, recount the stories of all of the victims of Nazi fascism between 1933 and 1945. How could one claim that Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Dachau, Bergen Belsen, Wolfsberg, Hartheim, Gross Rosen, Landsberg, Meppen, or the Ardeatine Caves had never existed when names, dates, and places are permanently etched in stone? These stones would be incontrovertible evidence of truths too uncomfortable for those who had yet to face up to the past. Hence the Stolpersteine were born out of a clamorous act of denial and represent an extraordinary antidote to negationism and revisionism.

The first stones in Cologne’s Green Market District were installed at Demnig’s initiative in 1995 without any official authorization; the following year, fifty-one stones were installed in Berlin-Kreuzberg in connection with the exhibition Artists Explore Auschwitz (Künstler forschen nach Auschwitz) in the Neue Galerie für Bildende Kunst. The original stones in Cologne and Kreuzberg were only legalized in 2000, and 6 years later the ones set in the other fifteen municipalities of Berlin were also legalized. Many cities and countries still prohibit or create problems for the installation, primarily for two reasons. The municipalities prefer them not to be too visible, whereas the Jewish communities do not like the idea that people can walk on the names of their dead. The Munich city council, for instance, banned them in 2004, allowing them to be placed only in private spaces as the walls of houses where victims had once resided.

Charlotte Knobloch, leader of Munich’s Jewish community and former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany declared that the stones were not respectful of the victims they were intended to honor. Knobloch, who survived Nazi persecution during World War II by hiding with a Catholic family, explained her position: “People murdered in the Holocaust deserve better than a plaque in the dust, street dirt and even worse filth.”[12] Nevertheless, Terry Swartzberg, an American Jew who has been living in Munich for more than 30 years and has headed the Stolpersteine Initiative for Munich to get the stones installed in the city since 2011, garnered nearly 100,000 signatures for his petition, “End the Shameful Ban on Stolpersteine in Munich!to lobby Munich’s city council to lift the ban, but it was reaffirmed in 2015.

In France, several stones in Vendée are dedicated to forced laborers who were killed in the Hamburg bombings. They were placed centrally near the Monuments aux Morts, six stones in an open space in Cluny. In addition, four stones have been laid in Russia and seven in Ukraine. Despite obstructionism, to date 55,000 Stolpersteine have been laid in seventeen European countries and in 898 cities in Germany alone. These installations were made possible, above all, by the commitment of free associations of citizens, such as the Initiative Stolpersteine für München and Remembering and Learning for the Future in Munich, Rom in Cologne, and Arteinmemoria in Rome, which brought the project to Italy in 2010.[13]

Discreet, horizontal, and ubiquitous, the Stolpersteine are a work in progress: their number is not established a priori or completely defined but multiplies in time and space in response to requests made by the families of victims, institutions, or private citizens. Demnig is quoted as saying:

I was not clear about the dimensions of the action at first. The undertaking as a whole, which is spreading all over Europe, is a growing, decentralized monument, an art work in perpetual progress. I regard the “stumbling stones” as a kind of “social sculpture.” Survivors who had said to themselves “Never again to Germany,” come to attend the installation of the stones. Witnesses turn up who had kept silent for decades. People talk, speak to each other again. I don’t think one can ask for more. A picture, a painting hangs in the museum, my art is at everyone’s feet.[14]

Demnig intends to personally install a stone for every victim, a total of 10,000,000 stones across Europe, a titanic and virtually impossible undertaking. He is fully aware that he will never achieve even a fraction of this goal: at his current pace it would take 4,250 years to lay them all, a truly biblical time. “When will I place my last stone? I don’t know, of course. Picasso worked until he was 90,” Demnig noted ironically.[15] In cynical and ephemeral times of rapid consumption and easy successes, dedicating one’s life to a work destined to remain unfinished only increases its ethical value and heretical strength. Owing to the fact that the artist is always on move, the organization behind such a vast undertaking is anything but simple.

It is difficult to establish the first contact with the artist; it is difficult to translate the complexity of the individual stories into the concise and univocal language that Demnig demands for the texts etched into the stones; and, finally, it is difficult to find a date in his incredibly busy calendar. However, after these preliminary difficulties and reciprocal suspicions were overcome, the process became easier for those who commission the stones, almost automatic. The artist is a bit of an introvert, a man of few words, direct and sincere. A hard worker, he is fully aware of the mission he has undertaken, without presumption, narcissism, or arrogance; he suffers through ceremonial events, he adapts, and is not at all temperamental. With so little time at his disposal, he demands efficiency, rigor and precision. How, we may ask, does he see himself?:

I am not a memory producer. We work as a team of four. Michael Friedrichs-Friedländer in Berlin cuts the stones, Anna Warda coordinates my timetable in Germany, Anne Thomas is responsible for the Stolpersteine outside Germany and I am on the move, installing the stones. At the beginning, I did everything myself: gathering data, planning the placements throughout Germany, maintaining contacts with the various initiators, etc.[16]


Recalling the Past to Anticipate the Future

“It is not just a monument to the past but an admonishment for the future,” declares Demnig.[17] By overlapping past and present, the stones recall history to ward off its repetition. Caught by surprise while walking, our reaction is instinctive and unpredictable. The Stolpersteine represent a powerful litmus test: they cannot be ignored by anyone stumbling upon them. A passerby may stop to read, meditate, or empathize, or he/she may keep walking or turn way with the same guilty indifference as the accomplices to the barbaric acts recounted on the stones themselves. Demnig is telling us that indifference is the antechamber to Auschwitz, yesterday as today. It is the same indifference that long before Auschwitz led German citizens to accept the sudden disappearance of their neighbors.

So close and tangible, the stories told by the stones affect each one of us because we live in the same city and dwell in the same house. A woman living in a building in Rome in front of which are three stones, confesses:

I am Spanish and I have lived in Rome for 25 years. I knew about the searches that took place on October 16, 1943, in Rome, and that without doubt they also took place outside the ghetto, but to find three Stolpersteine in my street, one being dedicated to a 9-year-old child, was very emotional. I cannot imagine living in 1943 on this street, hearing the trucks come to take my neighbors away knowing I would never see them again, knowing that it was the Nazis who came for them, perhaps aided in their identification by Italians. I wonder whether I would have had the courage to hide or help them.[18]


A Wellspring of History

The information appearing on the stones is the result of painstaking research: the identification of deportees’ homes, often no longer coinciding with the current toponymy of the city, and the stories told by family members and verified in memory books and archives serve to augment research on World War II and the deportations. The urban map drawn by the Stolpersteine allows us to visualize both the presence of the Jewish population and the scale of resistance to Nazi Fascism, debunking simplifications and clichés: for example, the stones tell us that the Jewish and political deportations in Rome were not confined to October 16, 1943, or January 4, 1944,[19] but continued until 1945, on the verge of liberation, owing to the collaboration of the Fascists and even common people, gainsaying the myth of the “goodhearted Italian.”[20] By decentralizing history, the stones become a powerful tool by which the city’s inhabitants, especially the young, can learn about their city. They prove that these horrendous acts, which may seem so distant, took place outside their own homes and that it was possible to resist, even at the risk of one’s life. As Demnig notes: “A consequence of my installing these stones year in, year out is that, as I can observe, time and again, and more and more, young people become interested in the Holocaust. Students question surviving witnesses, conduct on-site investigations, do research work with a real commitment.”[21]

Some of the stones in Rome, for example, tell for the first time the story of the courageous resistance of the Carabinieri (an armed force of the Italian Republic).[22] Judged unreliable by the German command led by Kappler and Graziani of the Italian Social Republic, owing to the assistance they offered to the Resistance against German occupation in Naples and Rome, some 2,000 Carabinieri, rank and file as well as officers, were arrested in their barracks on October 7, 1943. This occurred one week before more than 1,000 Jews were deported from the ghetto, packed into trucks, and shipped off to concentration camps in Austria, Germany, and Poland along with Italian Military Internees (IMI), who were imprisoned by the Germans on all fronts after September 8, 1943. The Carabinieri were stripped of their status as prisoners of war and deprived of the privileges of international protection. Unlike other prisoners, they were offered a choice: to remain in the camps or fight for the German army or the Italian Social Republic. Almost all had the courage to say “No,” paying the very high price of death by starvation, torture, and abuse. Since 2010, twelve stones in front of a barracks in Viale Giulio Cesare in Rome recall their sacrifice (Fig. 3).

Elsewhere, other stones have been placed within the context of a millenary history. In Via Urbana 2, in the heart of the Monti neighborhood in Rome, for example, a Stolperstein commemorates Don Pietro Pappagallo (Fig. 4), the priest immortalized by Aldo Fabrizi in his extraordinary performance in Roma città aperta by Roberto Rossellini. During the Nazi occupation of the city, Don Pietro offered asylum inside the Convent of Bambin Gesù to the persecuted “of any faith and condition.” Denounced by a German spy, he was arrested on January 29, 1944, condemned to death, and assassinated in the Ardeatine Caves on March 24 of that year. The stone was commissioned by Don Francesco Pesce, the current pastor at the Church of Madonna ai Monti, the church that was founded by Pope Paul III in 1543 at the height of the Counter-Reformation. Until Italian unification in 1870 and the closure of the ghettos, it was the headquarters of the Pia casa dei catecumeni, the College of the Neophytes, which was the site of forced baptisms of Jews and infidels in general.

Yet, this same church distinguished itself during the Nazi occupation as a safe haven for the persecuted. More than twenty stones alongside the building memorialize the relatives of Giulia Spizzichino who were murdered in Auschwitz and at the Ardeatine Caves (Fig. 5).[23] Those small and discrete signs set into the surface of the street thus embrace centuries of dramatic and controversial history, with which the world has yet to fully come to grips. Together they achieve what the artist Jochen Gerz judged to be the primary role of memory: transforming yesterday’s enemies into today’s friends. This is precisely the goal of The Future Monument (2004) in Coventry, England, with the involvement of more than 5,000 citizens, and of The Square of the European Promise (2011) in Bochum, Germany, where citizens were invited to sign their name on the pavement of the square.[24]


For All Deportees

As I already noted, Demnig does not favor one category of deportees, but relates to them all: “My ‘stumbling stones’ are a counter-model or supplement to the steles in Berlin, which I find good artistically but a mistake in terms of thematic content: the monument should from the start have been dedicated to all the various groups of victims.”[25] He is against the “war among memories,” which, since the 1980s, has pitted victims, memories, memorials, and commemorations against one another. Whereas prior to the 1970s racial persecution was seen within the context of political persecution according to a paradigm that prioritized resistance to Nazi Fascism, with the advent of the “era of the witness,”[26] political persecution was overshadowed by racial persecution.

Divorced from the historical context that generated it, memory of the Holocaust has gradually assumed an absolute universal value, which accounts for the proliferation of monuments, museums, research centers, university chairs, and publications dedicated to the Holocaust since the 1990s. The odyssey of the Italian Memorial in Pavilion 21 at the camp in Auschwitz,[27] created in 1980 by the National Association of Ex-Deportees into the Nazi Camps (ANED), is a telling example. Consisting of a prestigious architectural and artistic structure in the shape of a spiral, 80 m long, designed by the well-known architectural firm B.B.P.R. in Milan, it recounts the history of Italy from 1922 to 1945, before and after the deportations, because, as Primo Levi warned in his introductory text: “The history of the deportations and extermination camps, the history of this place, cannot be separated from the history of Fascist tyrannies in Europe.”[28] Yet in 2008, with the excuse that the memorial would no longer adhere to the new didactic and museographic regulations, the museum’s director and the Polish government decided to dismantle it; fortunately the city of Florence decided to host it in a factory assigned beforehand to contemporary art. In reality, what was really questioned was the “politically oriented” nature of the memorial, as attested by the presence of the hammer and sickle and the faces of anti-Fascist fighters such as Antonio Gramsci. The political character of the ANED memorial, coupled with Italian Jewry’s wish to dedicate the memorial specifically to the Jewish Holocaust, led the Union of Italian Jewish Communities to join the chorus of detractors of the memorial, despite the initial consensus regarding its construction in 1980.

That instance accents how important it is for Demnig to dedicate his stones to all deportees, without distinction. A few cases can be cited as examples: Dozens of stones in the ghetto in Rome recall people deported after the October 16, 1943, raid. Other stones in Rome’s working-class suburbs and in front of the Regina Coeli prison evoke the anti-Fascist resistance of such individuals as Gioacchino Gesmundo, Alberto Pascucci, Jean Bourdet, and Paskvala Blazevic, who were murdered in the Ardeatine Caves; shipped to Mauthausen on the January 4, 1944, convoy, the first with political deportees; or rounded up in the Quadraro neighborhood on April 7 of the same year.

Only one Jew was deported from Prato in Tuscany, whereas 150 workers, taken from the Lucchesi and Campolmi factories on March 8, 1944, guilty only of participating in a general strike the day before and murdered in Mauthausen-Ebensee, are memorialized by stones installed in front of the spaces where they once worked. In Genoa, a stone in the Galleria Mazzini recalls the figure of Chief Rabbi Reuven Riccardo Pacifici, arrested by the Gestapo on November 2, 1943, taken to Marassi Prison, loaded onto a train to Milan, and murdered upon arrival at Auschwitz. One could continue with such histories in Turin, Venice, Siena, L’Aquila, Brescia, Ravenna…


Private Memory Becomes Public

“Deconstructing and splitting so-called collective memory,”[29] as Robin suggests, personalizes history, bringing it closer and making it more tangible. It signifies above all restoring a name and dignity to a person reduced to a number and “bringing home” those whose lives ended in a mass grave or in ashes. Those who never returned left no trace: the Holocaust, Wajcman notes, is a destruction without ruins.[30] The Stolpersteine thus mark the only places for recording those who never returned, sites as unique and personal as their own homes. Although obviously not a tomb, the stone represents the only place where it is possible to gather and remember, the smallest lieu de memoire[31] we can imagine, just enough space to etch the essential information identifying the beginning and end of a life. Many leave flowers; some give up on commissioning a stone because they cannot stand to see passersby walk on the name of their beloved relative.

The families of victims who commission the Stolpersteine offer the public a private memory, jealously held over time, and through this passing of the torch of memory, citizens and institutions assume the responsibility for its safeguarding and transmission. The positioning of a plaque on a building façade requires the approval of the house’s owners, but the sidewalk belongs to everybody and the permission to install the stones is up to the municipality that endorses the project. The fact that some of the stones are clean and polished, others tarnished and neglected, others still desecrated demonstrates how this responsibility is often shamefully neglected. To commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of Kristallnacht in Berlin, on November 9, 2013, historians and students offered guided tours of the Stolpersteine to polish them and tell their stories. The same was done for the Stolpersteine in the ghetto in Rome to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the October 16, 1943, raid.

Demnig notes: “What motivates me particularly is the always moving encounter with relatives of the murdered. During my last tour, for example, a family came from California, including a surviving daughter. Three generations came. A fourth one was still under wraps: a pregnancy, a big belly.”[32] The “stumbling stones,” whose placement reveals degrees of relationships (children between parents, grandparents above children and grandchildren), bring together for the first time family members from the four corners of the world. The request for the stones, as well as the individualization of the places to install them becomes an occasion to strengthen or establish new connections among relatives. For the first time they have a place to remember and to transmit their memories to future generations. As Alberta Levi Temin explains: “My loved ones, at least their names, returning home, are no longer blowing in the wind. Here, on this sidewalk walks life, and their names will take part.”[33]

Thus, the placing of the stones is for the families a solemn ritual act, a true ceremony. Demnig confirms: “If some forty people attend with genuine interest and sympathy, something like joy arises among the relations, because now, finally, the memory has found a place in the midst of life.”[34] Family photographs showing four or five generations reflect the history of an entire century. Family involvement is stronger in the case of Jewish deportation because whole families were deported at once, whereas political deportation involved single fighters, mostly men, opponents of Nazi Fascism.

Stolpersteine in fact create not only an urban map of deportation, but also the genealogical tree of deported families: children and grandchildren dedicate them to their parents and grandparents, and through these same stones, children in turn transmit the memory of great-grandparents to their own sons and daughters, who are the great-grandchildren of the victims. Moreover, the German verb stolpern has a twofold meaning: “to stumble upon” and “to activate memory.” Precisely for their value as an act of remembering and presence, the Stolpersteine evoke the avanim (stones) that Jews leave on the tombs of loved ones. As the root of the Hebrew word even (stone) is the same as aba and ben, father and son, the stone is a unit that acquires strength through dialogue and the transmission of values from one generation to the next, from fathers to sons, from masters to students. That is why it is so important to involve students in the project, having them participate in the laying of the stones, learning, commenting, and hearing the stories of the deported translate into becoming witnesses to a continuing story – a role entrusted since prehistoric times to the stone, and not to the monument.

Just one example of the transmission of memory through the Stolpersteine: In 2012, Augusto Piperno, together with his wife Daniela Temin, commissioned two stones in Viale Giulio Cesare 223 in Rome in memory of Augusto’s grandfather, whose name he carries, and his wife. Both stones bear the same text: arrested on 16 October 1943, deported to Auschwitz, murdered on 23 October upon their arrival in the camp, after the first selection. A year after viewing the two stones dedicated to her great-grandparents, Gaia Piperno, Augusto and Daniela’s daughter, came up with an idea. Her project, which involved thirty-five great-grandchildren living in Italy, France, Israel, the United States, Argentina, and India, who had never had the occasion to meet, was named Masa (travel in Hebrew), was to retrace her great-grandparent’s journey from Viale Giulio Cesare to Auschwitz, but in the opposite direction. All the cousins met in Krakow:

We then traveled in Auschwitz. For many of us it was the first visit to an extermination camp, but we wanted to do it together, to comfort one another and because the idea of arriving as a group of thirty-five descendants of our great- grandparents was as powerful a message as we could send.[35]

From Auschwitz, they traveled back to Italy, arriving in September 2014 at the Tiburtina station. The journey was not intended to be commemorative. “There is more than simple pride in saying: you may have killed our great-grandparents but not their future. There is also, and above all, the desire to reappropriate our past and make it a common heritage.” The cousins had gathered information about their great-grandparents, prepared posters in three languages, and interviewed relatives and friends. The next day they met in front of the Stolpersteine in Viale Giulio Cesare, where everything began. This episode shows how the exchange between private and public memory is a two-way process. The decision to entrust the memory of a family to the community created an opportunity within the same family unit for the discovery of new ties and the consolidation of those that already existed.


A Stolperstein as a “Counter-Monument”

It must be remembered that the Stolpersteine are an artistic project on memory. Of what kind? Dimension, geometric shape, and unlimited repetition of the same module make the Stolpersteine close to the Minimalist serial and modular structures, like those of Donald Judd or Sol LeWitt. On the other hand, entrusted to the cold and impersonal instrument of writing, an-iconic, a-chromatic, and devoid of gesture, they can certainly be ascribed to the field of conceptual art. Demnig noted in 2013, “Everything I have done artistically to this day pertains to conceptual art.”[36] Adopting the same dimensions, the same material, the same graphic layout, and the same typeface, rejecting suggestions of concessions or exceptions, Demnig makes each stone unmistakably part of a unique project. The artist himself engraves the texts on the stones, but the conditio sine qua non for the authenticity of the project is that, after deciding on its location and position, he personally installs each stone. Thus, despite their conceptual nature, the Stolpersteine have a strong authorial impact. Each stone is Demnig’s testimony, and kneeling to lay it is his gesture of respect toward the victim:

I am horrified each time I etch the names, letter after letter. Yet this is part of the project, because in this way I remind myself that behind that name there is a single individual. Children, men and women who were neighbours, classmates, friends and colleagues. Each name evokes an image for me. I visit the site, the street, in front of the house where the person lived. The installation of each Stolperstein is a painful process, but also a positive one, because it represents a return home, at least of someone’s memory.[37]

The artist who first theorized conceptual art was the American Sol LeWitt. “In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair.”[38] Focusing on wall drawings, he wrote: “The artist conceives and plans the wall drawing. It is realized by draftsmen (the artist can act as his own draftsman); the plan (written, spoken or drawn) is interpreted by the draftsman”[39] A wall drawing is conceived by the artist in unpredictable polyphonies, but is painted by his assistants “to avoid dirtying his hands.” In contrast, Demnig conceives the same work over and over, with an identical form, dimensions and materials, entrusting its variability, other than to text and site, to the fact of personally and manually installing each stone. In the dialectic between impartiality and authorship, art reflects the dispute between the neutrality of history and the empathy of the testimonial. Thus someone who imagines designing, actualizing, and installing Stolpersteine on his/her own underestimates their complexity, to the same degree that someone, standing in front of a work of abstract, minimalist, or conceptual art triumphantly declares “I could do that as well.”

Demnig’s artistic process is so ingenious that it appears to exclude proselytes. Yet, also from the conceptual fold Stolpersteine are surprisingly similar to a coeval work of the Dutch artist Jan Dibbets (b. 1941), the Hommage à Arago (1994; Fig. 6). The work was done in memory of François Arago, the eminent astronomer and director of the Paris Observatory, who was commissioned in 1806 to extend the Paris meridian as far as the Balearic Islands, the line crossing France from north to south. This line was the original prime meridian from 1799 until 1884, at which time it was replaced by the prime meridian in Greenwich.

In 1893, exactly 40 years after Arago’s death, Paris dedicated a bronze statue to his memory, which rested on a tall base in Place de l’Île-de-Sein, where the Paris meridian cuts Boulevard Arago. When the Nazis occupied Paris, the statue was removed and melted down for its lead. What was to be done, then, with a pedestal without its statue? A further 50 years would pass before Dibbets was commissioned to replace the monument. He conceived it as an imaginary monument along the imaginary line of the Paris meridian. A total of 135 bronze medallions, each 12 cm in diameter, bearing the name of Arago between two letters indicating North and South inserted into the street surface, like the Stolpersteine, trace a line from the pedestal of the original monument that extends north and south across six arrondissements. Thus, Dibbets’s counter-monument helps recall a legendary figure by repeating his name along the meridian he invented and for which he is famous.

Even more surprising are Stolpersteine (Fig. 7) by the Israeli artist Ariel Schlesinger (b. 1980), which he started working on in 2014. He came across the Stolpersteine in Berlin and was very curious to know what was beneath them, the invisible part buried in the ground. When he saw them on the Internet, he decided to deepen the physical aspect of the work. He liked the stones before their installation. What would be left of them once the aspect related to memory through the names and the texts carved into the brass surface was removed? He built Stolpersteine exactly like Demnig’s: paving stones of the same dimensions, same material, same brass plaques, and same title but with two crucial differences: without any text and without a specific site where they are to be buried, they are mute and alienated; they are, as the artist suggests, “displaced stones,” ready to host new names or to travel somewhere else. They are “stumbling stones” not only visually and emotionally but also physically. This is what the artist had to say during their presentation at the Dvir Gallery in Tel Aviv in 2014:

The stones are detached from any restraints, from the characteristics that make them individual, stripping them naked from what makes them personal. First, detached from the ground, the place where they are laid in the sidewalk, the stones are free to travel. Second, erasing the name that is written on them, they are not associated with a person, an individual. Turning them into game blocks, suggesting new ways to use them, investigating the characteristics of a landmark, do we need a name and a place to evoke a memory? The actual materiality of the project itself attracted me, the warm brass embedded in the cold cement.[40]

Schlesinger likes their minimalistic aspect, which reminds him the works of Carl Andre. It is precisely the name, Schlesinger reminds us, that translates a simple minimalist sculpture into a dedicated space of memory. He considers his Stolpersteine as homage to Demnig and his work. It is not the same for Demnig who does not at all appreciate what he considers a dishonest imitation!

Despite the fact that James Young inexplicably ignores Demnig’s Stolpersteine in his very well-known texts on memorials,[41] they undoubtedly belong to the field of counter-monuments, which he defines as “memorial spaces conceived to challenge the very premises of their existence.”[42] If one looks at Memorial against Fascism, War, Violence – for Peace and Human Rights (Mahnmal gegen Faschismus Mahnmal gegen Faschismus, Krieg, Gewalt – für Frieden und Menschenrechte) by Jochen Gerz and Esther Shalev (b. 1948) (1986, Fig. 8) or Gerz’s 2146 Stones – Monument against Racism (1993), discussed below, it comes as no surprise that most of these counter-monuments are designed by German artists or are located in Germany. In fact, the end of World War II marked the first time a nation was called upon to commemorate not its heroes or victims, but its crimes and its guilt.[43] This radical change in perspective neutralized the available artistic languages – basically realism and abstraction – and mandated the search for new forms that could simultaneously express the need, almost the obsession, to remember the past. This desire to remember reflects the need to set oneself apart from the generation of perpetrators – and a need to forget in order to build a new national identity free from nostalgia and the sense of guilt, yet still deeply aware of that same past. It is what Andrea Zach calls: a “decentered attachment to the past.”[44]

Gerz, the creator of the “invisible monument,” notes:

Faced with Germany’s past, a number of people of my age have always been aware of not knowing how to behave. They exercise a sort of sublime repression of the past. Hence my idea of repressing the work of art. My intention is to turn this relation to the past into a public event.[45]… The most important factor in my life remains the war I didn’t fight.… Perhaps this explains why the notion of absence is so important in my life and work.[46]

For Gerz, memory is recalling something that he did not see and that the Germans did not wish to see:

As a child I saw “nothing,” and even this belongs to memory. What was this “nothing”? My personal experience was swallowed by what I came to know when all was done and it was too late. Childhood, my life, disappeared. This is when I began the slow reconstruction of the fractured “self.[47]

Gerz’s most well-known counter-monument is undoubtedly the above-mentioned 2146 Stones – Monument against Fascism.[48] As the title indicates, it is not a simple commemorative monument created to passively recall victims, but is, rather, an “active” monument that is at the same time “counter” to a past of war and oppression and “in favor” of a future of peace and justice. Thus, remembering means working for a better future. A 12-m-high lead column in the commercial heart of Hamburg, which is inhabited largely by immigrants, literally sank into the ground over 7 years. How? Thanks to the public, which was invited to sign and thus endorse the memorial, wherein each signature caused an imperceptible sinking. After 70,000 signatures, the monument disappeared into the earth, leaving only a set of Instructions for Use in seven languages, which includes the following statement: “In the end, it is only we ourselves who can rise up against injustice.”

Like the Stolpersteine, Gerz’s work is now a horizontal memorial that belongs to the street and can be walked on: a “memory that burns beneath our feet.”[49] Instead of entrusting memory to the monument, the public, active in its destruction, assumes the responsibility for remembering the past in order to affirm peace and human rights in the present. It was precisely the public’s signature, its testimonial, that produced the physical disappearance of the monument. Thus, the spectator, became the coauthor, an accomplice in the actualization-disappearance of the work. In fact, without the signatures, the column would have remained in place, as an abstract monument, a stele. Signatures, but also insults, swastikas, anti-Semitic and xenophobic phrases, written not only by Fascists and racists, but also by those unable to tolerate the “indifference” of the monument, were in evidence. For the last, the fact that the monument expressed no emotions, that it neither consoled nor reconciled, but provocatively claimed a position and assumption of responsibility was obviously insupportable.

The monument thus became a “mirror of society,” reflecting the attitudes and sentiments of the population, rather than a formal and deferential respect. In substituting monuments with living people, Gerz’s work becomes a living monument: another contradiction in terms. Wajcman opines:

Gerz’s monument materially creates an oxymoron: it is a living monument, which is the opposite of the monument…. What we see is that there is nothing to see. We see the removal of memory. This signifies that Gerz’s monument has not fixed memory in history, as monuments generally do.… It is not a site where memory is petrified in history; it is an object that calls people to an act of memory. It renders them the bearers of memory and makes each of them a monument.[50]

Gerz’s monument represents a true revolution. After centuries, the anti-monumental and anti-idolatry impulse finds its most proper expression in the physical disappearance of the monument and the assumption, by each individual, of the responsibility of remembering through the education of people to be different and aware. Moreover, according to Wajcman, absence is the “absolute heart of this modern century.”[51] Only art, whose role is to exhibit, is capable of “exposing what cannot be represented in either words or images.”[52]

Gerz’s 2146 Stones – Monument against Racism was conceived from the beginning as an “invisible monument.” A total of 2,146 of the 8,000 stones paving the square in front of the Castle of Saarbrücken, the former Gestapo headquarters and now Parliament of the Saar, were uprooted; each base was etched with the name of one of the 2,146 German Jewish cemeteries that existed in 1939 and returned to its original position, thus becoming invisible. The only visible trace was the renaming of Castle Square to the Square of the Invisible Monument. An invisible monument: another oxymoron. It renders visible the oblivion, the very disappearance of 2,146 Jewish cemeteries from Germany: “It makes disappearance and oblivion present.”[53] Unlike the Stolpersteine, the names of the dead are not restored to the living to be remembered but, as it involves cemeteries, they are buried, underscoring the Nazi’s total destruction of real people, of their names, possessions, tombs, and cemeteries: “A monument to absence in an absent monument and for the absent.”[54] Facing the ground, invisible to the living, the names are metaphorically legible only by the dead or, according to Wajcman, “by future archaeologists.”[55]

Negative-Form in Kassel by the Polish artist Horst Hoheisel (b.1944; Fig. 9) is also an invisible counter-monument. It replicates the Ashcroft Fountain, donated to the city by a Jew named Sigmund Aschrott, which was destroyed by the Nazis. Hoheisel reconstructed it in a form identical to the original but rather than placing it in the square, turned it upside down and buried it 12 m into the earth. “The sunken fountain is not the memorial. It is only history transformed into a pedestal, an invitation to passers-by and those who stop to search for the memorial in their minds.”[56]

Empty Library: In Memory of the Nazi Book Burning (Bibliothek Denkmal Die Bücherverbrennungvom), designed by the Israeli artist Micha Ullman (b. 1939) in Bebelplatz in Berlin, where 20,000 books were burned by the Nazis on May 10, 1933, is also a nearly invisible counter-monument. A transparent surface at street level, visible only when one actively searches for it, reveals a white, bright hypogeal room, wrapped in empty shelves designed to contain the same number of books that were burned.

The Stolpersteine, as already noted, adopt writing as their artistic language, consisting of the names of the victims. The first counter-monument to use that language was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, the black granite wedge bearing 57,000 names of those killed in Vietnam between 1959, the year the war began and when the artist Maya Lin was born, and 1975. With discretion and sobriety, it declares the costs of an unjust and lost war in terms of human lives. Mirrored in the black granite surface etched with names, today’s visitors come face to face with the past.

The French artist Christian Boltanski (b.1944) also recalls people by their names. In The Inhabitants of the Hotel Saint-Aignan in 1939 (Les habitants de l’hôtel de Saint-Aignan en 1939; 1998), in the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme in rue du Temple, Paris, the names of Jews who settled there at the turn of the last century, craftsman coming from Eastern Europe to open small shops, are randomly placed on the wall of the interior courtyard in the understated form of funeral announcements. In Missing House (La maison manquante;1990) in Berlin, in the historic quarter of Scheunenviertel, Boltanski placed similar announcements with the names, professions, date of arrest, generally the year 1942, and date of death on the walls of buildings adjacent to the one destroyed by bombings, in places that correspond to the storeys where the victims’ apartments had been.

Finally, the Stolpersteine belong to what Régine Robin defines as “memories of proximity,”[57] those memories camouflaged within our daily lives. In this respect, the Stolpersteine are comparable to Places of Remembrance in the Bavarian Quarter – Memorial in Berlin- Schoeneberg. Marginalization, Loss of Rights, Expulsion, Deportation and Murder of Berlin Jews from 1933 to 1945 (Orte des Erinnerns im Bayerischen Viertel. Denkmal im Berlin- Schoeneberg. Ausgrenzung und Entrechtung, Vertreibung, Deportation und Ermordung von Berliner Juden in den Jahren 1933 bis 1945), created in 1993 by the German artists Renata Stih (b. 1955) and Frieder Schnock (b. 1953) in Berlin-Schoeneberg.[58] In the latter project, eighty banners were hung from lampposts of the Bayerischen Viertel, known as the Jewish Switzerland and inhabited at one time by Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt, among other well-known personalities. Each two-sided banner bears an anti-Jewish law issued in 1938 on one side and a stylized image of a familiar object illustrating the law on the other side: a razor, a set of keys, a thermometer, or a bench. Surreptitiously infiltrated into the present, these texts and images tested the population’s reactive capacities. How would we have reacted in the past to these posters and restrictions? How would we react today if the same conditions were imposed on other subjects? These are the same questions that are raised by the Stolpersteine, the same questions every contemporary monument or memorial should raise.


Beyond the “Zero Degree”

In these pages I have focused on what is unique about the Stolpersteine project: it is discrete, widespread, decentralized, and extended in time and space. I have highlighted its quality as a work of art, the characteristics that make it a counter-monument, the most radical examples of which are the ones that disappear physically and rely on the viewer for the transmission of memory. What lies beyond the “zero degree” of the disappearance, as epitomized by the heroic, titanic gestures of Gerz, Hoheisel, Ullman? How can a project on memory be discreet, almost invisible and at the same time proliferate and spread? This is what must have been on Demnig’s mind when, taking a step back on the road to invisibility, he came up with a small, discreet lieu de memoire, to be installed in the places where the deportees had their last homes – memorials that can be multiplied a million times, all the same and all different, distributed throughout the European continent, a map much more than a single monument. Like mosaic tiles or pieces of a puzzle, over an unimaginable period of time, the Stolpersteine will expose the hypertrophic dimensions of deportation.

[1] See Adachiara Zevi, Monumenti per difetto: dalle Fosse Ardeatine alle pietre d’inciampo (Rome: Donzelli editore, 2014).

[2] Via S. Maria in Monticelli 67, Rome.

[3] Lewis Mumford, The Cultures of Cities (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1938), 438.

[4] Lewis Mumford, “The Cave, the City, and the Flower,” The New Yorker, November 2, 1957. Reprinted as “Memorial of a Nazi Massacre,” in Lewis Mumford, My Works and Days (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), 408–12.

[5] Régine Robin, I fantasmi della storia. Il passato europeo e le trappole della memoria, Italian trans. C. Saletti and L. Di Genio (Verona: Ombre corte, 2005), 92. The Italian book is a collection of essays and does not exist in that form neither in French nor in English.

[6] Gérard Wajcman, “Un monumento invisibile,” in Quando è scultura, eds. C. Baldacci and C. Ricci et al. (Milan: Et al., 2010), 53.

7 The International Artists Forum (IKG) was founded in 1976 in Cologne by a group of well-known artists, including Joseph Beuys, Jochen Gerz, Gotthard Graubner, Klaus Staeck, among others. It was and is an association of artists, curators, and critics working in the field of the visual arts. The IKG is concerned with freedom of art, information, and press, the right of cultural self-determination, tolerance, and cultural diversity. It is a network that currently numbers 235 members in many countries aiming for continuous cooperation across borders; one main point has always been exchanges and meetings with East European artists.

[8] Wolfgang Hahn, “Gunter Demnig, Helluva Guy,” in In Front of My Door: The ‘Stumbling Stones’ of Gunter Demnig, ed. Joachim Rönneper (Gelsenkirchen: Arachne Verlag, 2013), 50.

[9] “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

[10] Karola Fings, Stolpersteine: Gunter Demnig und sein Projekt /Gunter Demnig and His Project (Cologne: Emons, 2007).

[11] Related to the author in conversation.

[12] Stav Ziv, “Munich to Continue Ban of Stumbling Stone Holocaust Memorials,” Newsweek, July 29, 2015, accessed August 11, 2016,

[13] See

[14] Joachim Rönneper, “Between Mother and Father the Child,” in In Front of My Door: The “Stumbling Stones” of Gunter Demnig, 11.

[15] Ibid., 12.

[16] Ibid., 10.

[17] Ibid., 11.

[18] Unpublished text written for the second edition of “Memorie d’inciampo a Roma” (Rome, January 13, 2011).

[19] See Brunello Mantelli, ed., Il libro dei deportati. Deportati, deportatori, tempi, luoghi (Milan: Mursia, 2010); Giacomo Debenedetti, 16 ottobre 1943 (Turin: Einaudi, 2015) (orig. ed. OET, Rome 1945); Eugenio Iafrate, Elementi indesiderabili. Storia e memorie di un “trasporto,” Roma – Mauthausen 1944, ed. Elisa Guida (Rome: Chillemi, 2015).

[20] Goodhearted Italian is the title of a 1965 film directed by Giuseppe De Santis from which originated the myth that Italians did not have any responsibility for the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II.

[21] Rönneper, “Between Mother and Father,” 10.

[22] See Anna Maria Casavola, 7 ottobre 1943. La deportazione dei carabinieri romani nei Lager nazisti (Rome: Edizioni Studium, 2008).

[23] Via Madonna dei Monti 82, Rome.

[24] See Adachiara Zevi, “Memory’s Print,” in Art in Memory 6, exhibition cat., Ostia Antica Synagogue, January–April 2011 (Rome: Fondazione Volume!, 2011), 72–75.

[25] Demnig, “Between Mother and Father,” 10–11.

[26] Annette Wieviorka, L’era del testimone (Milan: Raffaello Cortina Editore, 1999).

[27] Elisabetta Ruffini, ed., “La vicenda del Memoriale italiano di Auschwitz,” in Studi e ricerche di storia contemporanea, no. 74 (December 2010).

[28] See

[29] Robin, I fantasmi della storia, 92.

[30] Gérard Wajcman, L’objet du siècle (Lagrasse: Verdier, 1998), 21.

[31] Pierre Nora, Les Lieux de Mémoire (Paris: Gallimard, 1984).

[32] Demnig, “Between Mother and Father,” 10.

[33] Text written for the first edition of “Memorie d’inciampo” (Rome, 2010),

[34] Demnig, “Between Mother and Father,” 10.

[35] Gadi Piperno, “16 ottobre – Riprendiamoci la nostra storia,” in Moked: Il portale dell’ebraismo italiano (

[36] Demnig, “Between Mother and Father,” 11.

[37] Fings, Stolpersteine, 37.

[38] Sol LeWitt, “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art,” Artforum 5, no. 10 (June, 1967). Republished in Adachiara Zevi, ed., Sol LeWitt Critical Texts (Rome: I Libri di A.E.I.U.O e Incontri Internazionali d’Arte, 1994), 78.

[39] Sol LeWitt, “Doing Wall Drawings,” Art Now 3, no. 2 (June, 1971). Republished in Zevi, Sol LeWitt Critical Texts, 95.

[40] Notes sent to the author.

[41] James. E. Young, At Memory’s Edge: After-Images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000); James E. Young, The Art of Memory: Holocaust Memorials in History, exhibition cat. (New York and Munich: Prestel 1994).

[42] James E. Young, The Texture of Memory: Holocaust, Memorials and Meaning (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993), 27.

[43] Ibid., 21.

[44] Andrea Zach, “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin: The ‘Spectacular [A]ffect’ of Vergangenheitsbewältigung,” The International Journal of Žižek Studies, no. 2 (2012): 11.

[45] Jacqueline Lichtenstein and Gérard Wajcman, “Jochen Gerz: Invisible Monument,” Art Press, no. 179 (April, 1993): E3.

[46] Jean-François Chevrier, “Jochen Gerz, Trafic d’Origines et Images de Paix,” Galeries Magazine, no. 31 (June-July, 1989): 69.

[47] Alexander Pühringer,Das Mahnmal Bist du Selbst,” Untitled: The State of the Art, no. 3 (Spring 2012): 120–21.

[48] See Moran Pearl’s discussion of this monument in Chapter 1 of this volume.

[49] Wajcman, “Un monumento invisibile,” 52.

[50] Ibid., 47.

[51] Ibid., 239.

[52] Ibid., 23.

[53] Ibid., 46–47.

[54] Ibid., 54.

[55] Ibid., 53.

[56] Young, The Texture of Memory, 46.

[57] Robin, I fantasmi della storia, 97.

[58] Renata Stih, and Frieder Schnock, Orte des Erinnerns/Places of Remembrance in Berlin, (Bonn-Berlin: Bildkunst, 2009).