Saturday, October 05, 2013

A plaque won’t give you your life back

Boy, it’s cold and grey and raining here. One feels the urge to stay inside and drink tea. In this case, fennel-anise-caraway tea. But we went out anyway, and bought a new tea kettle. The rain makes the cobblestones shine and I like the sound car tires make going through puddles. Shhhhhööööjjj.

Walking back through the Nordend neighborhood we found some Stolpersteine, or “stumbling stones.” There are dozens of these around Frankfurt; they mark the addresses where Jews who were deported during the holocaust lived. They’re subtle but also striking, with their minimal information. I keep an album of them on Facebook. 

These are for the Levi family, which lived on Oberweg. Issak, Katinka and their son Karl. They were deported to Majdenek concentration camp in Poland in 1942. According to the stones, the father and mother were murdered there, whereas their 17-year old son is simply described as having died (‘tot’). 

All the stories that must be behind those stones. I think it’s a good thing these are installed around the city. But a plaque won’t give you your life back.

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