(JTA) – Munich upheld a ban on small brass street memorials to Holocaust victims but will allow other kinds of memorials.
The City Council voted Wednesday to keep the ban on the memorials, known as Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks), ignoring a petition signed by 100,000 people calling for a lifting of the prohibition in the German city. Some local Jewish groups have joined the council in opposing the memorials, which are set into the street, saying they are disrespectful because they can be stepped on.
The council voted to allow plaques to be hung on the walls of houses where victims of the Holocaust once lived and is planning to create a city monument with the names of Munich victims.
The Stumbling Blocks memorial project was launched in 1993 by a Cologne artist, Gunter Demnig, and has been introduced in hundreds of cities in Germany and former German-occupied countries.
In 2012, an app presenting virtual Munich stumbling blocks, containing biographies of hundreds of Munich Holocaust victims, was introduced.
Some 9,000 Jews were living in Munich when the Nazis came to power in 1933. By 1939, many Jews had fled Germany. Ultimately, nearly 3,000 Munich Jews were deported; fewer than 300 returned after the war.