Please note that we cannot organise any more Stolperstein-laying ceremonies before end of August 2023.
Dear friends of the STOLPERSTEINE,
Gunter Demnig's foundation STIFTUNG – SPUREN – Gunter Demnig has been running and organizing the STOLPERSTEINE project since January 2015. It has also been responsible for STOLPERSCHWELLEN since 2017. You can find further information about the foundation in English and German on our website. Since the STOLPERSTEINE art project develops daily, for which we would like to thank all those who support it and campaign to make sure that society does not forget what happened in the past, there are constant readjustments to our procedures. Please read the following "Steps" attentively to prevent any misunderstandings.
Steps for laying a STOLPERSTEIN
There are STOLPERSTEINE in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine. In 2017, a STOLPERSCHWELLE was placed in Argentina. In 2022, the first STOLPERSTEINE in Britain and Ireland will be installed.
As of January 2022, there are over 90,000 STOLPERSTEINE in almost some 2,000 places in Europe. There are also already more than 25 STOLPERSCHWELLEN and a number of REMEMBRANCE STONES in Spain for the victims of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.
We continue to receive more and more requests and unfortunately the waiting lists are getting longer. We do our best to ensure that all requests are answered but please be aware that it can sometimes take time for STOLPERSTEINE to be installed. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Download steps as PDF-File: STEPS_STOLPERSTEINE_2022.pdf
- Placing STOLPERSTEINE
- REMEMBRANCE STONES
- Lecture by Gunter Demnig
- Educational concepts
- Sponsors and Donations
- Contact us
Before a STOLPERSTEIN can be installed, permission must be granted by the local authorities. In Germany, please request a "Genehmigung für das Verlegen von STOLPERSTEINEN im öffentlichen Raum" ("Authorization for laying STOLPERSTEINE in the public realm”) if permission has not already been obtained. Outside of Germany, please contact the mayor or the local authorities and request permission if you do not already have it – success will vary according to the country, sometimes it will be a painstaking process, sometimes please be warned that there might not be an answer. Please note that the STOLPERSTEIN team is not responsible for requesting permission – we have found that it is more likely to be granted if the request comes from a third party (for example, a survivor, the descendant of a victim or an association).
Furthermore, we insist that EVERYTHING be done to find and inform any living descendants or relatives before a STOLPERSTEIN is installed. They might well want to attend a STOLPERSTEIN ceremony. Alternatively, they might not want a STOLPERSTEIN, in which case none should be placed for their relatives (please do not go against the wish of relatives). These days, one can glean important information in the social media or using other online tools. There is also much information to be obtained from Yad Vashem and local and international archives. Please go to the Downloads section of our website for more information on how to find relatives.
In Germany, the laying of STOLPERSTEINE is often organized by local associations (please contact them to see if permission is necessary). We ask associations not to request family members of victims to pay for the laying of STOLPERSTEINE. If at all possible, the costs should be covered by other sponsors. If family members insist on paying, nothing can be done and this is fine. Unfortunately, outside of Germany there are not always the same sponsors and, therefore, it is currently usually the case that costs are covered by those who request STOLPERSTEINE even if these are the family members themselves.
It is also advisable to inform the current inhabitants of buildings in front of which STOLPERSTEINE will be laid. This is not compulsory, however, because the sidewalk is usually public property. Nonetheless, it can prevent later problems or controversy.
If possible, we encourage involving school children in the process of laying STOLPERSTEINE and carrying out research. Experience shows that there is great interest among young people.
Once Stolpersteine have been installed in the public realm, they belong to the community. They can thus be considered a gift by locals or outsiders to a municipality.
Gunter Demnig’s motto is: ONE VICTIM – ONE STONE. There are no collective STOLPERSTEINE (please see STOLPERSCHWELLE below). This project commemorates all victims of National Socialism: Jews; Sinti; Roma; Jehovah’s Witnesses; homosexuals; mentally and/or physically disabled people; people persecuted for their political views, their religion, their sexual orientation or the color of their skin; forced laborers; men considered deserters; people who were persecuted on grounds that they were considered “asocial” such as homeless people or prostitutes – anyone who was persecuted or murdered by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945.
NB: STOLPERSTEINE are not only placed for people who were murdered, but also for “survivors”. For example, in front of a house in Amsterdam, a STOLPERSTEIN might be placed for a woman who survived Auschwitz alongside two STOLPERSTEINE for her parents who did not. This “reunites” families. Stolpersteine can also be placed for people who were able to escape to Palestine or South America or survivors of concentration camps. The project also commemorates those who were forced by the circumstances to commit suicide.
Therefore, please try to find out as much as you can about the families of victims before requesting a STOLPERSTEIN. We also recommend that you to do everything possible to find out as much information about a victim before sending us your proposed inscriptions. Please do not rely solely on information from family members but carry out further research.
Sources of information for research about inscriptions or addresses:
- the International Tracing Service (https://www.its-arolsen.org/english/)
- the Federal Archives of Germany (http://www.bundesarchiv.de/index.html.en)
- the Memorial Book (http://www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/directory.html)
NB: We consider this a reliable source. Inscriptions for STOLPERSTEINE should tally with the information found in the Memorial Book. If your information does not tally, please inform the Federal Archives. They will do their best to amend their information even if this might not occur immediately.
- Yad Vashem (http://www.yadvashem.org)
- local archives and historical societies
- the Union of Persecutees of the Nazi Regime (VPN)
- trade unions
- groups and associations for Sinti & Roma
- groups and associations for homosexuals
- groups and associations for Jehovah’s Witnesses
- hospitals can provide information on the Nazis’ euthanasia programs
NB: We consider the Memorial Book a reliable source. Inscriptions for STOLPERSTEINE should tally with the information found in the Memorial Book. If your information does not tally, please inform the Federal Archives. They will do their best to amend their information even if this might not occur immediately.
If possible, STOLPERSTEINE are always placed in front of the last residence of choice - never in front of places that people were forced to move to. Therefore, they should never be placed in front of what the Nazis called “Judenhaeuser” (“Houses for Jews”). Stolpersteine should not be placed in front of internment or deportation camps or in front of cemeteries. They should not be placed on central squares. In certain exceptional situations, there might be a case for placing them in front of town hall - for example if the exact address is not known (IN AMSTERDAM LIVED might be the inscription instead of HERE LIVED). However, we do ask people to do their utmost to install STOLPERSTEINE in front of former homes.
Usually, a STOLPERSTEIN bears the heading HERE LIVED. Exceptions might be made if a street no longer exists or if there is a reason for placing a STOLPERSTEIN in front of a place of employment for example. In such cases it might bear the heading HIER LERNTE (HERE STUDIED), HIER LEHRTE (HERE TAUGHT), HIER ARBEITETE (HERE WORKED) or HIER PRAKTIZIERTE (HERE PRACTICED) instead of HIER WOHNTE (HERE LIVED). Sometimes, there might be a case for not having a heading at all, for example if somebody did not live in a house at the time of deportation.
The following information is required for the inscription of a Stolperstein, insofar it is known or applicable:
- First name, family name and maiden name (NO MORE THAN THREE NAMES)
- Year of birth (not full date of birth)
- Full date of arrest if applicable
- Information about internment in a camp (e.g. Westerbork / Drancy)
- Year (not full date) of deportation to concentration camp (e.g. Auschwitz / Dachau)
- Full date of murder
For Gunter Demnig, people who died in concentration camps as part of the Nazis’ mass extermination program were murdered, and therefore the most common “fate” is ERMORDET (MURDERED) even if someone died of tuberculosis for instance. FLUCHT IN DEN TOD (FLIGHT INTO DEATH) is used in cases of suicide. The word EMIGRATED is not used, instead ESCAPE, YEAR and DESTINATION are preferred. If a fate is not known, then the inscription SCHICKSAL UNBEKANNT (FATE UNKNOWN) can be used. If somebody survived a concentration camp until the end, then please use the term BEFREIT (LIBERATED) instead of SURVIVED.
Inscriptions are in the language of the country in which they are being placed. In some cases, this means that the inscriptions might be bilingual – depending on the length of the words there might therefore be two Stolpersteine for the same person.
There are times when it is impossible to translate a word or concept directly so there will always be a discussion about the “correct” inscriptions. We always try to find a compromise that suits everybody involved.
Once you have been given a date for the laying of STOLPERSTEINE, please send inscriptions in a WORD document per e-mail to Karin Richert (for Germany) or contact Anne Thomas or Alexander Stukenberg (for NL, Belgium and Luxembourg), who will provide you with a template. Anne, Alexander and Karin need to receive inscriptions at least three months before the installation.
You will receive the inscriptions for proofreading before the STOLPERSTEINE are made.
If you decide to install Stolpersteine, we take it for granted that you accept the general philosophy of Gunter Demnig’s project and want to commemorate all victims of the Nazis, as he does.
Gunter Demnig has the final say on inscriptions. The STOLPERSTEINE are a "work in progress" and sometimes there will be changes to wording of inscriptions as the project develops.
As mentioned above, there is already a huge interest in STOLPERSTEINE, which is growing by the minute, and we do our best to accommodate all requests. However, we cannot meet every demand and certainly cannot grant all requests for STOLPERSTEINE to be laid on a particular day.
Gunter Demnig is on the road over 300 days a year and we try to organize his routes as logically as possible, which means that if he has already been in a particular region or country, it might be at least a year before he is able to return.
At the moment, there is a waiting period of between nine months and a year - sometimes much more, sometimes less. In countries such as Poland or France, it is not always easy to obtain permission and therefore the wait can be much longer. The earlier we receive your requests, the earlier an appointment will be given (if there is permission).
Please do not ask us for an appointment for STOLPERSTEINE to be placed unless there is already permission from the local authorities and until you have carried out all the necessary research for the inscriptions.
Ideally, we communicate with one person only from a particular town or city. We would therefore appreciate it if you communicated with others in a town or city before making ONE joint appointment with the Stolperstein team.
To comply with EU data protection regulations, we have to ask all applicants for STOLPERSTEINE to send us a signed consent form. Please download this and return ONE document to ensure the application process goes smoothly.
We try to announce Gunter Demnig’s timetable six months in advance. Once times and dates have been fixed, they remain subject to change. This might be because of last-minute cancellations or for reasons pertaining to weather, illness or production. Sometimes, Gunter’s tours have to be re-arranged entirely. Although we do our best to meet all requests, we reserve the right to postpone or cancel the installation of STOLPERSTEINE in case of emergency.
Please be aware that Gunter places STOLPERSTEINE on all days of the week, including Sundays, regardless of public or religious holidays – he suggests that people organize unveiling ceremonies on later dates without him if the installation of a STOLPERSTEINE clashes with a holiday.
Gunter Demnig always used to place the first STOLPERSTEINE in a new village, town or city. With the pandemic and growing demand, this has become more difficult but he still tries to do this. However, he might not travel to a remote village to place just one STOLPERSTEIN as he would do in the past. Once STOLPERSTEINE have been placed in a given village, town or city, it is sometimes possible to organize installations without him. These are called Gemeinschaftsverlegungen (community installations or CIs).
If you would like to organize a community installation without Gunter Demnig (NB: This might only be possible if Gunter Demnig has already placed STOLPERSTEINE in a given village, town or city), please let us know well in advance and be prepared to wait as there is limited capacity considering that each STOLPERSTEIN is made by hand. Please inform us of when you would like to place how many Stolpersteine. We will then give you a production appointment and ask you to send us the inscriptions three months in advance of that appointment. We will then produce and send the Stolpersteine to you. We do our best to accommodate last-minute requests but these tend to pile up and therefore it is not always easy. The same is true if we need to replace Stolpersteine that have been damaged or stolen.
We would appreciate it if the organizers of community installations of STOLPERSTEINE sent us pictures of the event afterwards. Please send pictures to Karin Richert.
If you want to place STOLPERSTEINE, please contact Anna Warda for Germany (she speaks German, English and Spanish), Alexander Stukenberg for Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands (he speaks German, Dutch and English) and Anne Thomas for all other countries (she speaks English, French and German but not Italian or Spanish so please find a way of translating your text).
4. Placing STOLPERSTEINE
As mentioned above, Gunter Demnig tries to place as many STOLPERSTEINE as possible himself and tends to place the first STOLPERSTEIN in a new place if this is feasible.
STOLPERSTEINE are never placed on/in a wall but always on a sidewalk – usually close to the entrance or underneath the house number (please look online for pictures of Stolpersteine to get a general idea). Stolpersteine should be placed in such a way that the names can be read as somebody approaches a building. Gunter Demnig tends to decide where exactly they should be placed at a given location on the day itself.
Gunter Demnig tries to keep families together by placing STOLPERSTEINE for them as a unit – stones for parents will be placed above those for children.
Where possible, please request help from the local building authorities (with preparing the holes or removing rubble for example) or a construction firm well in advance of the given date. A STOLPERSTEIN is a cube that is 96 x 96 mm big and 100 mm high. A hole should not be more than 12 cm deep.
In Germany, help preparing holes in advance is compulsory. In other countries, it depends on individual situations, but it is preferable if there is help on hand from the local authorities or a construction firm. This should be arranged by the person(s) who have applied for a STOLPERSTEIN. It cannot be arranged by Gunter Demnig’s team.
If there is no help from the local authorities, please ensure that Gunter has access to electricity as well as a pair of extra hands to help remove rubble etc. It makes sense to provide information about the surface where a Stolperstein might be placed in advance if possible. Gunter can then prepare his work more thoroughly.
As a general rule, Gunter Demnig needs 20 minutes per address if he has the assistance of the local building authorities (Bauhof in Germany) or a construction firm. He can place STOLPERSTEINE in up to 12 addresses (maximum) per day. When planning his itinerary, please ensure you leave enough time for Gunter Demnig to travel from one address to the next.
Please ensure that you have obtained permission for Gunter Demnig to park his Peugeot van, which has a height of 1.95 meters, length of 5.30 meters and width of 1.92 meters and whose license plate number is VB-GD 1027. In Germany, this can be obtained from the Ordnungsamt.
The STOLPERSTEIN team does not organize ceremonies or programs to accompany the installation of the STOLPERSTEINE. If you do plan such a program, please do not wait for Gunter Demnig to have finished placing the STOPERSTEINE. Please bear in mind that he often has to move on to the next place and might not have time to attend the whole ceremony or listen to long speeches – please do not be offended if he leaves earlier than expected. Furthermore, Gunter Demnig does not speak all languages. If you expect him to understand, please provide an interpreter into German.
If a STOLPERSTEIN is stolen or damaged, please contact Karin Richert (for Germany), Alexander Stukenberg (for Belgium, Luxembourg and NL) or Anne Thomas (for other countries). Everything will be done to replace the STOLPERSTEINE as soon as possible.
You can also find instructions for cleaning and maintaining STOLPERSTEINE in the Downloads section of our website.
5. REMEMBRANCE STONES
The REMEMBRANCE STONES are based on the STOLPERSTEINE: They commemorate people who were not direct victims of the Nazis but of their allies during the same time period (1933 – 1945). They exist currently only in Spain where they have been placed for victims of the Franco regime, which received from and provided support to the Nazis. Without the Nazis’ support, General Francisco Franco would not have been able to expand his power and maintain his regime for over 40 years. In 2018, 20 REMEMBRANCE STONES were placed on Mallorca for 20 mayors and other politicians who had been imprisoned, tortured and/or murdered between 1936 and 1939.
The design of the REMEMBRANCE STONE is similar to that of a STOLPERSTEIN but stainless steel is used instead of brassplate. Please find more information here.
There are certain cases when hundreds or thousands of Stolpersteine would have to be laid in a single place. This being almost impossible, Gunter Demnig has come up with an alternative, the STOLPERSCHWELLE (which can be roughly translated as “Stumbling Threshold”). A STOLPERSCHWELLE can record the fate of a group of victims in a few lines. These are translations of the texts that have been included on STOLPERSCHWELLEN that have been placed in Germany:
ROECHLING'S IRON AND STEELWORKS 1941 - 1944
FORCED LABOR FOR ULTIMATE VICTORY
THOUSANDS WERE FORCED TO WORK FOR THE GERMAN ARMS INDUSTRY-
MALNOURISHMENT - ABUSE - ACCIDENTS - DISEASE
(Placed in Völklingen, 2014)
LEIPZIG-DOESEN SANATORIUM AND NURSING HOME
1933 - 1945
AFTER 1934, 604 PEOPLE WERE SUBJECTED TO COMPULSORY STERILIZATION
624 CHILDREN IN THE "CHILDREN'S SECTION" WERE MURDERED BETWEEN 1939 & 1945
860 DISABLED PEOPLE WERE "TRANSFERRED" BETWEEN JUNE & AUG. 1941
MURDERED IN PIRNA-SONNENSTEIN - 'AKTION T4'
(Placed in Leipzig, 2016)
Like a STOLPERSTEIN, a STOLPERSCHWELLE is 96 mm wide but can be up to one meter in length. It can hold up to six lines of text.
Like the STOLPERSTEINE, each STOLPERSCHWELLE is made by hand. The cost of a STOLPERSCHWELLE varies according to the text (which should be discussed with Gunter Demnig) and the necessary workload but generally a STOLPERSCHWELLE will cost between 1,250 and 1,750 euros. Please contact us to find out more and provide an example text.
In Germany, it costs 120 euros (incl. VAT) to install a STOLPERSTEIN, in other countries it costs 132 euros. The price includes the making of the stone and its installation or dispatch if applicable, as well as its recording in our database. It does not include accommodation costs which might be incurred (especially abroad) nor does it always cover travel costs.
STOLPERSTEINE are often financed by private donations. Private individuals, institutions, educational establishments, companies, associations, or political parties might choose to “sponsor” a STOLPERSTEIN.
We work on a principle of trust. You will receive an invoice once the STOLPERSTEINE have been installed. Please do not transfer any money before receiving an invoice. Please indicate the invoice number when transferring money.
We request the name and details of the person responsible for paying invoices when we send out our inscription form. Please give ONE NAME only and make sure that this does not change. It is very time consuming to chase people up.
Katja Demnig and Sonja Steinacker are responsible for all invoices for STOLPERSTEINE. Please contact them (NOT Anna Warda OR Anne Thomas) if you have any enquiries regarding quotes, pre-payments or invoices for STOLPERSTEIN installations.
The Stolperstein team has its own system of issuing invoices. It cannot adapt to all the different systems around the world. Please DO NOT send forms to be filled out in advance and please do not ask for quotes. If you cannot adapt to our system, please do not request STOLPERSTEINE. We are a small team with limited time.
In future, we may have to charge in advance because of difficulties receiving payment in the past. We hope that it will not come to this.
If Gunter Demnig is timetabled to spend the night in the place where you are laying STOLPERSTEINE, we expect you to reserve and cover the costs of accommodation. Thank you. If we do ask you to cover accommodation, we would appreciate it if this were in a hotel and not a youth hostel or a private apartment. Gunter Demnig usually spends over 300 days a year on the road and often works at his computer after a day of installation. It is easier for him to rest if he has a clean, quiet room. Furthermore, though he likes good food, please understand that he cannot be expected to attend dinners every night and might at times need sleep.
In certain cases, travel costs might also have to be covered, especially if Gunter Demnig has to make a special journey to install STOLPERSTEINE.
8. Lecture by Gunter Demnig
Upon request, Gunter Demnig will hold a lecture in the form of a PowerPoint presentation about his art memorial Stolpersteine and about his career as an artist from 1968 onwards. A lecture can be organized for the general public and/or for students or schoolchildren or to raise funds to lay STOLPERSTEINE.
Gunter Demnig's fee for a 50-minute lecture followed by a Q&A is 200 euros & 19% VAT. Sometimes accommodation and/or travel costs will also be incurred.
Please provide a laptop and projector if you arrange a lecture. Gunter Demnig speaks in German. If necessary, please provide simultaneous translation. If Gunter Demnig is not available, Katja Demnig, Anna Warda and Anne Thomas can also hold lectures. Please contact them directly for more information.
9. Educational concepts
We have welcomed the interest of schoolchildren in the STOLPERSTEINE project for years. Thanks to active teachers and classes who become very involved in research, the project continues to grow on a daily basis. Gunter Demnig’s new foundation provides support for school projects. We can help with research and give advice as to how to organize ceremonies that involve schools. We can also provide educational materials and put schools in touch with each other. Please contact Katja Demnig if you have any questions about school projects or if you would like her to send additional material.
In 2016, we started working on a database for all the STOLPERSTEINE, which is due to go online at the end of 2022. Our goal is to provide as much information as possible about the inscriptions of STOLPERSTEINE and about the lives of the victims for which they are placed, as well as photos and documents. There will be a map and search function to help users find STOLPERSTEINE online more easily. If you have placed Stolpersteine before, we would appreciate your help in compiling the content for our database. If you would like to find out more or have any information about previously laid STOLPERSTEINE, please contact Katja Demnig and Andreas Ullmann at datenbank(at)stolpersteine.eu
11. Sponsors and donations
Stolpersteine in Germany are usually financed by sponsors. If you would like to sponsor a STOLPERSTEIN in Germany, please get in touch with the appropriate association (see CONTACTS page).
It is of course also possible to support our project and foundation by making a general donation, for which we are always very grateful. In such a case, the funds might be used to finance a special trip or the database for example.
Bank details for the foundation “Stiftung – Spuren – Gunter Demnig”:
|Bank:||VR Bank Hessenland e.G.|
|IBAN:||DE69 5309 3200 0001 4534 08|
|Reason for payment:||Donation for Stiftung-Spuren-Gunter Demnig|
NB We can issue receipts for donations amounting to more than €200.00. Please get in touch with Sonja Steinacker us if you have any queries.
12. Contact us
Mobil: +49 - 177 - 206 18 58 (Mo – Fr: 09.00 – 19.00)
General information, press relations, Stolperstein app and website
Educational concepts paedagogik(at)stolpersteine.eu
Data protection datenschutz(at)stolpersteine.eu
+49 - 176 - 22 0000 58 (Mo – Fr: 15.30 – 19.00)
Inscriptions for Germany, press photos
Tel.: +49 - 221 - 42 48 077 (Mo – Fr: 9 – 13.30)
Cell: +49 - 163 - 4215 614
Tel. : +49-6631-7082258 (Mon, Weds & Fri: 10 – 13.00)
Appointments, inscriptions & production for Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands
Cell: +31 - 620789729 (Mo-Fr 15.00 – 17.00)
Appointments, inscriptions and project coordination (outside of Germany except Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands)
Tel.: +49 (0)1792145925 (Please leave a message or send an email if there is no response)
Appointments (for Germany) and project coordination, social media, academic exchange
Tel.: +49 - 176 - 31773607 (Mo – Fr: 10.00 – 16.00)
STIFTUNG – SPUREN – Gunter Demnig
Rechtsfähige Stiftung des Bürgerlichen Rechts
Stiftungsaufsichtsbehörde: Bezirksregierung Köln
Sitz der Stiftung: Frechen (NRW)
Stiftungsverwaltung: Gunter & Katja Demnig
An der Leit 15
Als gemeinnützige Stiftung anerkannt seit: 16.12.2014
Translation: Anne Thomas
Berlin, May 2018
Laying examples STOLPERSTEINE
Please click to enlarge photos.
Laying examples STOLPERSCHWELLEN
Please click to enlarge photos.