Virtual Stumbling Blocks Holocaust Memorial to Jews Launched in Munich

App Remembers Victims of Shoah, Digitally

Virtual Step: German artist Gunter Demnig works on his ‘Stumbling Blocks’ Holocaust memorial. Now, the project has gone digital in Munich.
getty images
Virtual Step: German artist Gunter Demnig works on his ‘Stumbling Blocks’ Holocaust memorial. Now, the project has gone digital in Munich.

By JTA

Published October 29, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A virtual Holocaust memorial has been launched to remember Jewish victims from Munich.

Visitors to the Bavarian capital can now see the biographies of hundreds of Jewish victims of the Holocaust as they pass by their former homes, thanks to a new app launched last week called Stolpersteine Muenchen, or Munich Stumbling Blocks.

Martina Bachmann, who is not Jewish, launched the app with business partner Sacha Bertram, who has a Jewish father. Bachmann told JTA that the aim is to create a digital memorial to all Munich victims of the Nazi regime, using 8,000 biographies. “Every person who was victimized and for whom we can find the biographical information,” Bachmann said.

The app is a virtual version of the small brass memorials, called “stumbling blocks,” located in many German cities today, with the notable exception of Munich.

Munch does not have these memorials because Charlotte Knobloch, head of Munich’s Jewish community and the statewide Bavarian Jewish organization, has opposed these memorials — small brass stones set into the sidewalks in front of buildings from which Jews were deported — as disrespectful, since they can be stepped on.

Some 9,000 Jews were living in Munich when the Nazis came to power in 1933. By 1939, many Jews had fled Germany. Ultimately, nearly 3,000 Munich Jews were deported; fewer than 300 returned after the war.

The Stumbling Blocks memorial project was launched by Cologne artist Gunter Demnig in 1993, and has been introduced in hundreds of cities in Germany and former German occupied countries.

Virtual stumbling block apps already have been launched in Berlin and Hamburg, where there are also real stumbling blocks, said Terry Swartzberg, head of the Stolpersteine Initiative in Munich.

The Munich initiative has collected thousands of biographies, which are the sources for the virtual stones.


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!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

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.