Discovering the “stumbling stone” in Venice

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For those who choose to visit Venice, it is a city that offers many opportunities to decipher its ways. Every angle, every palace, church, alley, or campiello holds history (some more than just one story) The fascinating city on water seems to never grow tired. Nonetheless  “recent” history, one that is nothing near romantic –but quite the opposite- is still very important to remember and is hidden within this city.

It is the case of the “stumbling stone” in Venice. The project “Pietre d’inciampo” (from the German word “Stolpersteine”) is an initiative by the German Artist Gunter Demnig in memory of the citizens deported in the Nazi concentration camps. The initiative started in 1995 in Colonia where Gunter had the idea of installing on cobbled stones a 10×10 cm brass plaque in front of the victim’s homes.

In Germany this initiative quickly began to diffuse as well as in many different other countries in Europe and numerous cities throughout Italy. As of Today there are more than 60,000 brass plaques set in 21 different European countries.  Every plate has the caption “here lived… the name of the victim, date of birth, date of arrest, date of death or disappearance (if known).”

In Venice it began January 12th 2014, in occasion of the “International Holocaust Remembrance Day” with the installment of the first twelve plaques in the Cannaregio quarter. The following years included laying some 61 plaques, always during the “Remembrance Day.”

When walking along the streets of Venice, pay attention to the masegni or cobblestones on the ground you might notice these momentous brass plaques collocated in the Cannaregio Quarter (they aren’t just found in the Jewish Ghetto but in Castello, San Marco, Dorsoduro, Lido di Venezia, and the Island of San Servolo.) To know exactly where the plaques are positioned, consult the interactive map.

Information and images are taken from the Official Webpage Progetto Pietro d’Inciampo Venezia

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