If you pay a visit to Munich, you may see its new remembrance plaques for Holocaust victims that are currently being put in place. The first small plaques and markers contain photos and biographical details of some of the victims, and they were installed at the apartment buildings they once inhabited in the Bavarian capital.
The authorities are installing the plaques at the last known addresses or workplaces of the 10,000 men, women and children from Munich who were Holocaust victims between 1933 and 1945, as a new form of remembrance. Victims’ relatives or other parties can apply to the city council for the new-style memorials to be installed. While there are existing brass cobblestones, or “stolpersteine” already in place, these are considered disrespectful by some people, mainly because they are placed on the ground where people tread on them and they get dirty. Bavaria’s supreme court backed the city’s 2015 decision to ban these cobblestones in public places.
The first plaques are coloured gold and silver, and have been created by Munich designer, Kilian Stauss. If the sign cannot be attached, a 1.8-meter stainless steel column with a gold-plated sleeve can be put up instead. The first plaques commemorate philologist Friedrich Crusius and Jewish art curators Paula and Siegfried Jordan, all of whom were murdered in 1941. Another commemorates Tilly Landauer, who died in Auschwitz death camp in 1944, and Franz Landauer who died in Westerbork camp in The Netherlands in 1943.
“With this new form of commemoration, Munich is taking its own path towards an honourable and lasting remembrance,” said Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community of Munich and Bavaria.