Each year on November 9th the city of Görlitz commemorates the November pogrom of 1938 – coordinated attacks carried out against Jews throughout Nazi Germany in which their homes, businesses and synagogues were looted and destroyed and many Jews were arrested or killed. The commemoration in Görlitz typically consists of a prayer inside the Frauenkirche and then a candlelit procession leading to the synagogue on Otto-Müller-Straße, as well as a tour that informs about the Stolpersteine around the city.
This year the prayer, candlelit procession and tour cannot take place due to the pandemic. However, the day will still be commemorated through a livestream on the mayor Octavian Ursu’s Facebook page including statements from General Superintendent Theresa Rinecker, Bishop Wolfgang Ipolt, and Dr. Markus Bauer, chairman of the Görlitzer Synagoge e. V.
Instead of a tour to the Stolpersteine, there will be a coordinated action to clean the “stumbling stones”. Participants are asked to meet at Salomonstraße at 4 p.m. to be split off into groups. For more information see the Facebook event page.
The German word Stolperstein means stumbling stone, and today you may “stumble” over one of these 70,000 small brass stones placed all over Germany as well as Europe. This is a project initiated by German artist Gunter Demnig in 1992 to commemorate victims of the Nazis at their last place of residency or work. In Görlitz, the first stones were placed in 2007. As of 2018, there are 21 Stolpersteine commemorating the victims of Nazi terror in Görlitz.