Stolpersteine, an education project to pay homage to the victims of the Holocaust

Students in their fourth year of secondary school and first year of baccalaureate studies at three city high schools are to carry out project work on the life stories of the victims of Nazism and fascism, thanks to a pilot project being promoted for the current school year by the Councillor’s Office for Democratic Memory and the associations Amical de Mauthausen and Amical de Ravensbrück.

25/01/2022 12:31 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Stolpersteine is the name given to the paving stones conceived by the German artist Gunter Demnig in the 1990s to pay tribute to those deported to Nazi concentration camps. The project has reached twenty countries, with over seventy thousand stones laid.

In the case of the pilot project being developed at three city schools this year, the laying of the stones will culminate a project for students to become familiar with the social and historical contexts which led to the appearance, consolidation and expansion of those regimes.

Three biographies of deportees will be chosen out of a shortlist of nine selected from the census held by the friends’ associations (amicals), with work to go into technical and documentary content. The goal is to find locations for the stones in various points in the city. Conceived this year as a pilot project, the idea is for the initiative to be extended next year to ten schools in the city’s ten districts. The intention is for the initiative to become part of the Unified Call for Education Programmes by the Education Consortium.

The three schools taking part in the project during the current school year are the Institut Francisco de Goya (Horta-Guinardó), the Institut Quatre Cantons (Sant Martí) and the Institut XXV Olimpíada (Sants-Montjuïc), which will get support from the two friends’ associations and Barcelona City Council.

The nine biographies chosen from the census held by the associations correspond to Lluís Villar, Florián Ibáñez, Josep Fort Maluenda, Carme Buatell, Francesc Boix, José Alcubierre, Sabatia Morand, Ferran Masip and Vicenç Vidrier.

Origins of the Stolpersteine

The memorial initiative known as Stolpersteine was started in Germany by the artist Gunter Demnig in the 1990s. Promoted Europewide by the Demnig Foundation, the project uses paving blocks laid in public spaces as a symbolic element, conceived as a civic memorial for all those deported to the various extermination camps in Germany and in other parts of Europe.

The basic premise is “One name. One stone”, whereby the names are used to pay tribute to the Jews deported to Nazi concentration camps. There are currently over 70,000 Solpersteine blocks installed in some twenty countries.