„Stumbling Stones“ in Kyiv

On 30th September 2021, the first „stumbling stone” was installed on the sidewalk of Frolovska street, 3 in Kyiv. This first small memorial plaque made of brass honors Liudmyla Tkach who was lucky enough to survive the crimes of Babyn Yar as a five-year-old child. The “stumbling stones” indicate a victim of Nazism’s last place of residence, work or study. Nazi German forces killed more than 33.000 people in the end of September 1941 in Babyn Yar. On the occasion of the tragedy’s 80th anniversary this stone is supposed to be the first of an symbolic number of eighty stones altogether. The Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies at the initiative of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kyiv with the support of the Kyiv City State Administration implements the project “One stone, one life – 80 stumbling stones for Kyiv”.  Additionally, a public exhibition by the Goethe-Institut Ukraine informs about the project’s background story.

“Stumbling Stones” (in German “Stolpersteine“) is an international project to commemorate the victims of the Nazi regime. The plaque, on which the inscription of a victim’s name and fate is engraved, is 10 by 10 cm in size and aims to make passersby metaphorically “stumble” over it to think about the person who once lived here.

Laying traces like these was an important theme for the German sculptor artist Gunter Demnig who is the author of the concept. He suggested the idea of such a memorial sign in 1993. The project commemorates people who were persecuted by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. Since then, more than 80 000 memorial stones have been installed all around Europe. Today, “stumbling stones” are being realized for Jews, Sinti and Roma, people from the political or religious resistance, victims of the “euthanasia” murders, homosexuals, Jehovahs Witnesses and for people who were persecuted for being declared as “asocial”. The project “One stone, one life – 80 stumbling stones for Kyiv” presents the framework for the installation of about ten memorial plaques in September 2021 with more to come in the future. In Ukraine, there are already “stumbling stones” in the cities of Rivne and Pereyaslaw-Khmelnytsky as well as a trip threshold in Czernowitz.

Related links:

 Stones in Kyiv:  http://kyivstones.org/





Stones in Rivne: https://mnemonika.org.ua/en/kameni-spotykannya

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