STA, 9 September 2021 - Another seven stumbling stones or Stolpersteine were laid in Ljubljana on Thursday to honour the memory of the city's Jewish citizens who were torn from their homes during WWII and taken to concentration camps in Europe. After that, an exhibition on the story of a Ljubljana Jewish family was opened.
The latest Stolpersteine commemorative plaques bring the total of stumbling stones in Ljubljana to 68, and they are located at 24 different locations.
Ljubljana Jewish Cultural Centre data shows the Slovenian capital has the largest number of such stones in Europe relative to the percentage of Jews that lived there and died as Holocaust victims.
The project is part of a wider initiative first launched by German artist Gunter Demnig in 1992 that aims to commemorate persons at their last known place of residence before they fell victim to Nazi terror.
The brass stones feature inscriptions displaying the victim's name, date of birth and fate. There are now more than 75,000 of them installed in more than 1,200 cities across Europe and Russia, making this the world's largest decentralised memorial.
In Slovenia, such memorial blocks have been laid in Ljubljana, Maribor and the north-east of the country, Lendava and Murska Sobota, where most of Slovenian Jews lived before WWII.
Today's stone-laying ceremonies were organised by the Ljubljana Jewish Cultural Centre, the Maribor Synagogue, and the Ljubljana municipality.
The first two out of the seven stumbling stones were laid at Križevniška 5 to commemorate Theodor Kron and Angelo Hajmann. Memorial blocks were also installed to honour the memory of Ivan Roth (Vegova 8) and Artur Silberstein, Pavla Silberstein, Stevan Savić and Đuro Savić (Korytkova 22).
Stolpersteine are "an artwork, individual and collective memory, which aims to rouse our lulled souls", the head of the Jewish Cultural Centre, Robert Waltl, said on the occasion.
The centre also prepared the exhibition titled Holocaust in Ljubljana - the Silberstein-Savić Family at the Mini Theatre venue, which was opened by Estera Savić Bizjak, a descendant of the family.
The stone-laying ceremony was meanwhile also attended by President Borut Pahor, an honorary sponsor of this project in Slovenia.
Pahor laid the first stumbling stone on 6 August 2018 together with the author of the project, German artist Demnig at Cankarjevo Nabrežje in Ljubljana, his office said in a release.