Stolpersteine, or stumbling stones, can be found throughout the streets of Germany and in other European countries. Each stone is engraved with the name of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Since this initiative started it has been expanded to include other victims of the Holocaust, but it originated to remember Jewish victims. These stones are placed in the ground in front of each person’s house and are engraved with their name, birth date, deportation date, the concentration camp they were sent to, and if possible, a death date. They are a way to publicly remember the victims of the Holocaust. The brass stones are placed directly into the pavement and stand out amongst the standard stones that make up the sidewalk. The project began in 1992 by a German artist, Gunter Demnig, and today it is one of the largest decentralized memorials. The stones are scattered all over Germany and more countries throughout Europe. When the Nazi’s destroyed Jewish cemeteries the headstones were often repurposed for sidewalk stones.
For my project I would like to make a digital map of the Stolpersteine and I think ArcGIS would be the best platform for this. While a map of the Stolpersteine does already exist it is very plain and just has dots that show the stones location. I would like to add photos, context and history to the map to make it more of a visual experience. Because of the limited time I have to complete this project I plan to select a few stones in an area and make a small map of those. Ideally this could be used by people at the sites to lead them to the Stolpersteine and give more information or for people who are unable to go to Germany or Europe and look at the stones in person.