Neo-Nazis Behind Attack on 'Stumbling Blocks' Site

Holocaust Memorial Vandalized on Kristallnacht Date

Out of ‘Step’: German artist Gunter Demnig works on his ‘Stumbling Blocks’ Holocaust memorial. Vandals damaged the installation on the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom.
getty images
Out of ‘Step’: German artist Gunter Demnig works on his ‘Stumbling Blocks’ Holocaust memorial. Vandals damaged the installation on the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom.

By JTA

Published November 12, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Neo-Nazis are behind the destruction of 11 “stumbling block” Holocaust memorials, say police in the German city of Greifswald.

The vandalism in the eastern Germany city was discovered Nov. 9, the 74th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews.

According to the Die Welt newspaper, the brass plaques, which bear the names of murdered Jews and are placed outside their former homes as memorials, were pried loose.

Knut Abramowski, president of the Police Headquarters of Neubrandenburg, reportedly has offered a reward of more than $3,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the vandalism, which he called a “malicious act.”

A state police investigation is under way, according to Spiegel Online.

Police suspect there may be a connection between the crime and a gathering of some 100 neo-Nazis in the neighboring city of Wolgast, Spiegel reported. Wolgast Mayor Artur Koenig of the Christian Democratic Party said that “people who still refuse to believe that our Jewish citizens were exterminated in the Nazi era will not gain the upper hand.”

German artist Gunter Demnig originated the idea for theStolpersteine, or “stumbling blocks,” project in the mid-1990s after hearing an elderly woman deny that there had been any Holocaust victims in her town.

Since 2003, more than 30,000 such brass memorials have been installed across Germany and in other European countries. In 2005, Demnig won an Obermayer German Jewish History Award, which honors non-Jewish Germans who contributed toward recording or preserving the Jewish history of their communities.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.