Olomouc, North Moravia, Aug 5 (CTK) – Some 20 new Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) in memory of the Holocaust victims were laid in the streets of Olomouc to commemorate the tragic fate of local Jews on Friday, Tomas Hrbek, deputy chairman of the Olomouc Jewish Community, has told CTK.
Further stones with upper brass plates with personal data will be unveiled on the pavement outside the houses where the killed Jewish inhabitants lived in Olomouc in mid-August and September. There will be 190 of them in the town then.
One of the stones laid on Friday reminds of Anny Engelmann, an illustrator of children’s books who worked under the pseudonym Anny Suska.
Another two commemorating Anne and Frantisek Loebl were placed outside the seat of the Olomouc Jewish Community where the number of stumbling blocks is totalling 14.
Anny Engelmann was a sister of architect Paul Engelmann, who moved to Palestine in in 1934, and Peter Engelmann, cartoonist and a pioneer of animated cartoons, who committed suicide with his wife after the Nazis arrived in Olomouc, Hrbek said.
Anna was hospitalised in a psychiatric clinic in Kromeriz, south Moravia, in 1939, trying to avoid persecution. However, she and 55 other patients of Jewish origin from the clinic were transported to Terezin (Theresienstadt), north Bohemia, a Nazi internment camp for European Jews in in June 1942. She was deported from Terezin to the Trostinets extermination camp near Minsk where she died in the same year.
The Olomouc Jewish Community representatives say the Stolpersteine project will continue in the town until further proposals for the Jews to be commemorated are submitted. They are sent by their offspring’s families, schoolmates and other acquaintances.
Some 2000 Holocaust victims came from Olomouc.
The idea of commemorating the Holocaust victims by stumbling blocks was introduced by German artist Gunter Demnig in 1996. Since then tens of thousands of these stones have been placed in some 20 European countries, including Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Netherlands, outside the houses where the particular Holocaust victims lived.
The first stumbling block in the Czech Republic was unveiled in Prague in October 2008.