Stumbling Across the Past
The cobblestones are known as stolpersteine, a German word meaning stumbling-blocks (in Italian, pietre d'inciampo) and they commemorate the victims of Nazi oppression, those who survived as well as those who died. The stones are the invention of Gunther Demnig, a German artist, and are embedded into the pavements of streets throughout Europe.
While the vast majority of the stolpersteine commemorate Jewish victims of the Holocaust, some remember non-Jewish victims.
The plaques record the details of an individual: the name, year of birth and the fate, as well as the dates of deportation and death, if known. The stone is then embedded into the pavement outside the last residence of the victim.
A stolperstein can be found outside the erstwhile residence of Adolfo Ottolenghi, who was the city's Chief Rabbi at the time of his deportation.