Stumble stones

On Liberation Day, in the Netherlands at May 5th, Sander van Walsum in the newspaper “de Volkskrant” said that Liberation Day is as important as Kings Day. On Kings Day we celebrate the birthday of our King. It is a national holiday. Liberation Day was until 1990 a national holiday and now it is only a holiday for school kids and civil servants. To all others May 5th is just a day like any other. 

In the Netherlands there are some 3500 war monuments. About 500 of them hail from the last fifteen years. 89 Dutch municipalities have mounted “stumble stones” (Stolpersteine) in the pavement: small bronze colored metal plate with

– The name of the victim
– Date of birth of the victim
– When and whereto the victim was deported 
– When and where the victim was killed.

The stones are placed in the pavement where the victim lived in wartime. Stones literally to stumble upon.

Of almost all of the 500 recent monuments the instigator was civilian. To the Dutch the German occupation is without a doubt the most important historic event of the Dutch national history.


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