When I arrived in Germany in 2006, I took note of these small bronze plaques which were set into the pavement. I believe the first one was directly outside the front door to my work. If you take the time to stop and look, you’ll find that each tile has words on it. A name followed by some information; birth date, death date, location of death and perhaps the circumstances. These are Stolperstein (Stumblestones), they show the last known residence of the victims of the Holocaust. They are the work of German artist Gunter Demning. Started in 1993, this project seeks to observe the victims of the Nazi regime and hundreds, perhaps thousands of Stolperstein can be found all cross former Nazi Occupied Europe.
The T4 program, named after the Tiergarten address of its office, was the name for the Nazi’s Euthanasia Program. To facilitate racial purity and the purging of impure blood from Germany, the National Socialists (official name for Nazis) murdered mental patients, crippled and terminally ill. Not Jews or any group in particular, just those deemed unfit for life or a danger to the gene pool. In 1941, the office and medical staff of Hadamar met in the hospital’s crematorium room to celebrate the cremation of their 10,000th patient.