From day one of my time here in Cologne my eye was drawn to these small brass squares that were dotted around the pavements of the streets.
At first, I was unaware of what they were until I recognized the word “holocaust” and a picture began to form of what I had been looking at.
If you have been around many countries in Europe then this might be old news to you. It turns out they have a name, Stolperstein (Wikipedia link), and there are over 67,000 of them installed in 22 countries.
The name translates to stumbling stone and they are the brainchild of a German artist, Gunter Demnig, who started installing them in 1992.
Its hard to internalize the many horrors of the past, but these small squares are a simple reminder of the individuals involved on a person by person basis.