The town of Plettenberg, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, on Saturday admitted that five Jewish Stolperstein (stumbling blocks) – the brass, name-engraved bronze cubes embedded in the pavement outside the homes of victims of Nazism, mostly Jewish homes, Deutsche Welle reported.
Apparently, the small, Jewish memorial stones disappeared after contractors had dug up the pavement at Alte Markt 3, which used to be the home of the Heilbronn family. In 1942, Helene and Alex Heilbronn were murdered at Treblinka, and their children, Egon, Jenni and Hannelore in the city of Zamość, Poland.
News of the stones’ disappearance was announced this week by a local historical association, whose members spoke to a local portal of the Märkische Zeitung newspaper in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The news came out after Mayor Ulrich Schulte had taken part last Monday in a remembrance event for Holocaust victims at Plettenberg’s Jewish cemetery.
Mayor Schulte said the loss was “very annoying.” Plettenberg’s building director Sebastian Jülich said the contractor who destroyed the little memorials had been fined €280 ($310) for each replacement stumbling block – which are yet to be installed anew.
“The most important thing is that stones are replaced in the pavement,” said Mayor Schulte.