A compilation. In the Spring Tony and I took a day trip to the former Reichswerke Hermann Göring in Linz, now in part the Vöestalpine Museum of Contemporary History. Over the summer Jack and I had occasion to drop in on the little-known Documentation Center of Austrian Resistance in Vienna; and, disappointed by a new French cafe that was way oversold, found ourselves one afternoon wandering the Servitenviertel neighborhood of Vienna’s 9th district, rich in Jewish history.
August’s weather has not been terribly kind. Blistering hot during the week, to the point where the city prohibited use of the Grillplätze in its parks; thank goodness those of us with gardens could heat up the Weber and not our kitchens on the hot days. Rain washed away two sets of long weekend plans, and nearly ruined this past weekend. But I digress.
A new branch of the Public Library just opened near our house, and it was difficult to not notice the Stolpersteine at the entrance. The building once was home to a famous Austrian poet and writer, Erich Fried, who fled to London in 1938 after the Gestapo murdered his father. Four other persons in the building were also Holocaust victims.
“The plan” had been Munich, to cheer on our favorite Lady Knight and the team, in the first of the two season final tournaments. Alas, Mother Nature conspired against us in the form of cold temperatures and rain, and it being the only shelter at MIS is for the athletes, we canceled our hotel and remained in Vienna.
The Stolpersteine Project is the creation of Gunter Demnig, a German artist-scientist. Information about the survivors and victims comes through witnesses and research databases, and his work is funded by a variety of personal and commercial contributions. Each stone is graced with the name, date of birth and the fate, along with the deportation date, destination, and death, if known.
Begun in 1992 to mark 50 years since Himmler’s decree to deport Sintis and Romas to extermination camps, there are approximately 48.000 stones across 18 countries in Europe; many, like this one going seemingly unnoticed.