Stoplersteine: Care and Remembrance 27th January 2023

In Leipzig you can find many brass-coloured plates embedded in the cobble stones of our streets. If you look closely you can find names and dates engraved on them. These are known as Stumbling Stones (Stolpersteine) and make us aware that people who suffered under National Socialism in Leipzig lived in homes marked by these stones. You will find the names of many Jewish people, who were deported and murdered by the Nazis. Stolpersteine are placed as a memorial to remember  those who died in the concentration camps and therefore do not have a grave. It is important that we remember what happened to them, so that evils like what happened during the holocaust do not happen again..

The 27th of January is “International Holocaust Remembrance Day”. This day was chosen to commemorate the day the Red Army liberated  Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration camp in 1945. In Grade 8 we are learning about the stages of the Holocaust and the prejudice and discrimination which lead to the Final Solution. We are also learning about how our actions and decisions today affect the happiness of tomorrow. There are few survivors of the Holocaust alive today. So it is very important to keep the memory alive so that present and future generations learn from the past and ensure something as evil as the holocaust does not happen again.

On the occasion of this memorial day, we as Grade 8 became active and held a memorial ceremony to remember five of the holocaust victims on the Karl Heine Straße. 

We walked to the Stolpersteine on Karl-Heine-Starße, these stones were laid in memory of the Joske Family (Hans Joske, Clara Joske, Helmut Joske, Hilde Joske, Ruth Joske). 

Mr. Bell brought his special cleaning mixture and a few sponges. The supplies and our efforts acted like magic and returned the shine to the Stolpersteine   

We read out the stories of each faimly member, lit three candles and laid white roses onto the now spotless Stolpersteine. A moment of silence made us all feel the importance of reflection and remembrance. 

The Holocaust was an unprecedented crime against humanity, aimed at eliminating the entire Jewish population of Europe, down to the last man, woman and child. The Jews were not condemned to death because of their religious beliefs or their political views. They were not killed for what they had done, but for the simple fact of their existence. We need to remember because none of the family is left and there aren’t even tombstones. Today we cannot undo what has happened, but we can make sure that it will not be forgotten.

Grade 8 Student

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