Stolpersteine in EW

My Name is Marwan Hassan and this project is my final assignment in the Digital Humanities Course: Introduction to Digital Humanities (4dh400) at the Linneaus University

Gunter Deming, the “political artist” (Cook & van Riemsdijk, 2014, p. 146), placed the first Stolperstein, brass paving stone, into a walkway in 1992. On it engraved the first words of Himmler’s order to deport the Sinti and Roma to Auschwitz. Several such Stolpersteine followed before several Governments began allowing licencing the project commemorating the victims of Nazi Germany (Pieper, 2019). On the 27th of April 2022, Deming set the 90.000th stolperstein in Prenzberg-Bavaria (Wolfgang, 2022). The Stolpersteine project has become the world’s largest decentralized Holocaust memorial monument (Harjes, 2005; Pittarello et al., 2022; Volmert, 2017).

The German word “Stolperstein” (pl. Stopersteine) means “stumble stone”. In a figurative sense, pedestrians stumble over the unpleasant history memorial and emotionally engage with the situation. Stolpersteine are placed in walkways in front of the victims’ last self-chosen place of residence. For many people, installing and taking part in the event, the Stolpersteine involves them as “producers and consumers” of the commemoration (Cook & van Riemsdijk, 2014, p. 139). Though impacting the participants, it remains a snapshot of civic engagement in the news. A large segment of the public soon forgets it.

There have been a couple of DH projects about Stolpersteine. For instance, Mehler et al. (2017) presented the app “Stolperwege” (stumble stones paths), connecting the Stolpersteine with information on the biographies of the victims. A recent MA project in DH at the Università Ca’ Foscari (Venice) developed an augmented reality project dedicated to Stoplersteine. It specifically addresses younger generations using AR on their mobile devices. (Pittarello et al., 2022)

The StolperMap-Eberswalde Project (SMEWP)

The SMEWP uses StoryMapJS to build a Stolpersteine-map in Eberswalde. Despite its modest size, it could become of considerable importance in Eberswalde where the right-wing party gains supporters and right-wing extremist and xenophobic crime is rising.[1]

The significance of Stolpersteine projects lies in that they are not an imposed memorial by the government but a civil movement in which engaging and reflecting sparks a “strong emotional connection (…)” (Cook & van Riemsdijk, 2014, p. 147). It is precisely this emotional bonding and social cohesion history awareness. Involving in such a project can dismantles radical thoughts and can prevent youth from radicalization.

[1] The right-wing Party (AfD) won 20.3 % of the electoral vote and became the third strongest party in 2021 (Thiel, 2021). Our state of Brandenburg (formerly in East Germany), has seen the highest rates of politically motivated crime since two decades. One hundred fifty offences were antisemitic, and seventy-four racist targeting foreigners or other ethnicities. (Kaufmann, 2022)


  • Cook, M., & van Riemsdijk, M. (2014). Agents of memorialization: Gunter Demnig’s Stolpersteine and the individual (re-)creation of a Holocaust landscape in Berlin. Journal of Historical Geography, 43, 138–147.
  • Harjes, K. (2005). Stumbling stones: Holocaust memorials, national identity, and democratic inclusion in Berlin. German Politics and Society, 23(1), 138–151.
  • Kaufmann, M. (2022, March 21). Kriminalität in Brandenburg: So viele politisch motivierte Straftaten wie nie. Der Tagesspiegel Online.
  • Mehler, A., Abrami, G., Bruendel, S., Felder, L., Ostertag, T., & Spiekermann, C. (2017). Stolperwege: An App for a Digital Public History of the Holocaust. 319–320.
  • Pieper, O. (2019, July 5). Stolpersteine: Eine Verneigung vor den Verfolgten [Online News]. DW.
  • Pittarello, F., Carrieri, A., Pellegrini, T., & Volo, A. (2022). Remembering the City: Stumbling Stones, Memory Sites and Augmented Reality. Proceedings of the 2022 International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces, 1–9.
  • Thiel, G. (2021). Ergebnisse Uckermark – Barnim I – Der Bundeswahlleiter [Governmental]. Der Bundeswahlleiter.
  • Volmert, M. (2017). Landscape, boundaries, and the limits of representation: The Stolpersteine as a commemorative space. Nordisk Judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 28(1), 4–21.
  • Wolfgang, S. (2022, April 28). Erinnerung an Mordnacht-Opfer: Der 90.000. Stolperstein wurde in Penzberg verlegt.