Stolpersteine and their educational value

As a decentralised and participatory memorial, Stolpersteine are suitable for a variety of educational activities. Students, trainees or extracurricular youth groups can work with the Stolpersteine in different ways. With the Stolpersteine directory and the interlinked database this website offers the opportunity to research Stolpersteine already set in Brandenburg and to look into individual biographies of persecuted people. This allows the young people to engage with the Stolpersteine and the life stories of those persecuted in their own neighbourhood and the affects of National Socialist politics in the local context. Equally important, the Stolpersteine project encourages people to gain experience in historical research, which could lead to further historical projects.

By working with specific personal stories the young people learn about the mechanisms of exclusion and persecution during National Socialism. Through tangible examples, they are able to understand how the radicalisation of discrimination paved the way for systematic mass murder. In addition, they can be made aware of the diversity of the victims, because the Stolpersteine commemorate all groups persecuted during National Socialism: Jews, Sinti and Roma, political and religious opponents, victims of the “euthanasia” murders, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and people stigmatised and persecuted as “anti-social”.

A more engrossing educational project is to initiate the creation of a Stolperstein. You need to plan a development period of about six months for this activity. The young people will not only learn about historical research, but also about the organisational tasks surrounding this specific form of individual and decentralised remembrance. This includes fundraising, coordination with local institutions, establishing a dialogue about local history and the organisation and implementation of a commemorative event.

You can contact Katja Demnig of the Stolperstein Foundation when undertaking educational programmes. Among other things she will put you in contact with completed Stolperstein projects and provide you with information on suitable complementary material.

To contact her, you can write to:

The Berlin Stolpersteine Coordination Office also offers professional advice and support for educational Stolpersteine projects, but only in Berlin. You can order supplementary material from the Berlin Stolperstein Coordination Office for these projects for a fee of eight euros. It also contains helpful information and suggestions that apply to projects in Brandenburg.