No freedom to avoid confrontation with holocaust
These are stolpersteines (literal meaning: stumbling stone or stunbling block), concrete cubes bearing a brass plate inscribed with the name and life dates of of those thought to be deported by the Nazis. There are thousands of them in European streets.
By Carolyn Yeager
A COUPLE IN THE NETHERLANDS BROUGHT MORE ATTENTION ONTO THEMSELVES than they wanted when they sought to have a Holocaust memorial plaque removed from the street in front of their house. The plaque was in the form of a brass-covered cobblestone with the name of an an alleged holocaust victim, Joachim Elte, who had lived in their house when he was arrested and deported in 1943.
The couple said the cobblestone violated their privacy because they were reminded of death every time they stepped out their front door. They also said they had a child who died and the stone was an “upsetting” reminder of that event.
But after a public uproar resulted after they went to court with their legal challenge, they have withdrawn the case.
"We are ending the court case because we are shocked by the way this has been publicised and the misunderstandings that have arisen as a result," they said.
"Since the death of our child, the Stolperstein pointing to our house has been too upsetting. We think it is very important to remember all victims of the Holocaust and will continue to do this respectfully. We do not wish to offend anyone and are very sorry that this has happened."
Apparently, in Europe no one has a right to object to common public property being taken over to reinforce into the minds of private citizens, whether they want it or not, the story of Jewish victimhood that we never seem to have enough of.
We know most people are too timid and cowed to object to such an undertaking and, indeed, the City of Amsterdam says it has received only two complaints over the cobblestones. One was made by a Holocaust survivor who said it reminded him of a traumatic time he didn't want to remember, and the other by hotel owners who claimed their business suffered because of it.
It turns out the request of the survivor, likely Jewish, was honored and the cobblestone was moved. But the request of the hotel owners, being mere Dutch nationals and business persons. was ignored. Is anyone surprised? One can't be allowed to put profit ahead of commemorating the dead … if it's Jewish dead, that is.
An emotional barrage is used to overwhelm our right to be free of holocaust propaganda and memorializing. As this project shows, it is everywhere and growing, to the very materials that make up our neighborhood streets.