This section provides answers to frequently asked questions. We hope that this information will contribute to the successful commemoration of people who perished in the Holocaust.
- What is the Stumbling Stone?
It is a 100-mm-high stone cube with a brass top plate of 96 x 96 mm which is installed into a footpath. Written on this stone is the name of the person who perished in a concentration camp, was killed at a place of massacre, tortured to death in prison or who otherwise suffered in the Holocaust. Stumbling Stones symbolically bring back these people to the areas of cities and towns where they lived, studied or worked. In this way they remind the living that those who were murdered en masse were not abstract numbers but real people.
- Who produces the Stumbling Stones?
Stumbling Stones are produced by STIFTUNG – SPUREN – Gunter Demnig: http://www.stolpersteine.eu/en/contacts/.
The contact person is Anne Thomas, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How much a Stumbling Stone costs?
The price of a Stumbling Stone is 120 EUR (the making of the stone and delivery).
- How many people can be commemorated on one stone?
Only one person can be commemorated on each stone.
- Where the Stumble Stone can be installed?
A Stumbling Stone is always installed into a footpath in front of the place where the person to be commemorated voluntarily resided or the place where they studied or worked. Although footways are public spaces, it is advisable to inform the residents of the building before laying the stone.
The originator of the Stolperstein idea, Gunter Demnig, usually lays the Stumbling Stones in front of the entrance to the building or underneath the building number, in the place that would be most easily visible to passers-by. The Stumbling Stones are never laid in places where nobody would see them, nor are they installed on building walls.
- What is the difference between engravings “Killed” and “Died”?
When commemorating people who perished in places of imprisonment due to lack of food or poor health, the word “Killed” is engraved, because such a person did not die a natural death. The word “Died” is only used when the person was released and died later. Ghettos are considered a place of imprisonment.
- What the inscriptions on the Stumbling Stones should be?
It is usual to inscribe on the top part of the Stumbling Stone the following information:
1. HERE LIVED / WORKED / STUDIED (to choose one)
2. The full name and family name (including the maiden name of a woman)
3. The person’s date of birth (only the year is engraved)
4. The year (full date, if known) and place of internment
5. The full date and place of murder/death.
To avoid mistakes and to ensure that the Foundation staff can properly engrave the names and family names of the persons to be commemorated on the Stumbling Stones, the Foundation requires the information to be sent in this specific order.
- Who can install the Stumbling Stone?
If you wish, the artist Gunter Demnig is usually glad to come and lay the Stumbling Stones himself. However, you would have to cover the cost of the artist’s flights and accommodation. Even if the artist comes to lay a Stumbling Stone himself, he would need at least one more person to help him with the installation. You would also have to ensure that you have all the necessary materials for installation.
Also, you can install the stone yourself, but it is obligatory to inform the Foundation and get their permission.
- Is it necessary to get a permission from certain institutions to lay a Stumbling Stone?
Yes. Once all the information has been gathered, it is recommended that you apply to the Department of Cultural Heritage or the administration of your city or district municipality for help in getting the official permits necessary to lay a Stumbling Stone. Once you have secured the support of your local decision-making institutions, they can help you obtain permits, especially in cases when commemoration is initiated by school communities. Every municipality has a different procedure for getting permits.
The following permission request letters and documents should be submitted when seeking permission:
1. A permission request letter should be sent to the committee of the appropriate municipality that deals with issues of commemorating persons in the city or district municipality. It is recommended that your permission request letter also contain the information you have been able to collect, as well as information about the Stumbling Stones (the idea behind the Stumbling Stones, their size, width, their structure and the process of laying them). Please add copies of documents which you may have discovered. Please also provide information about the inscription prepared for the Stumbling Stone and the location where it will be laid. Endorsement of commemoration from such a committee or similar body is very significant. It is therefore particularly important to explain to them the idea behind the laying of Stumbling Stones in footways and street pavements. In every municipality, the further process of getting permission depends on the structure of the municipality. The final decision is usually made by the Director of Administration.
2. Once you have secured permission from your municipality, a permission request letter should also be submitted to your regional department of the National Land Service under the Ministry of Agriculture. You can find the appropriate department on the website of the Service: http://www.nzt.lt/go.php/lit/Struktura-ir-kontaktai.
3. In case you wish to lay a Stumbling Stone in a place that is protected as cultural heritage, it is obligatory to submit a permission request letter to the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture.
All the templates of permission request letters can be found on the website: www.atminimoakmenys.lt.
- How long would it take to get necessary permissions?
The process of getting permissions can take from two to twelve months. The length of time usually depends on the level of support from local municipalities or parish councils (seniūnija).
- How to disseminate the information about Stumbling Stones and promote the remembrance of commemorated persons? Once a Stumbling Stone has been laid, please send the information about the persons commemorated to the Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights, which is responsible for administering the website www.atminimoakmenys.lt. If possible, please attach photos of the people who were commemorated and of the Stumbling Stones.Please send the information by email to email@example.com.