Monday, 6. 8. 2018

Ceremony dedicated to laying of “stumbling blocks”

Stolpersteine are dedicated to 23 Jewish citizens of Ljubljana and their families, who were taken to different concentration camps around Europe.

Today 23 Jews, victims of holocaust, have symbolically returned to the capital. At eight locations in front of the victims’ last known places of residence brass paving stones were laid with their first and last names, called “stumbling blocks” - Stolpersteine.

One stone. One name. One person.

Among the people laying the stones were also the relatives of the victims and the creator of Stolpersteine German artist Gunter Demnig, who commemorates the victims of National Socialism with the installation of memorial brass plates on paving stones on the pavement in front of the buildings the victims resided last. In 22 countries he has managed to install more than six hundred of stumbling blocks, the first one in 1992 in Köln, exactly half a century after Heinrich Himmler ordered the deportation of Sinti and Romani people to the concentration camps. On each stone there is an inscription that starts with HERE LIVED... One stone. One name. One person.

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Undeleted. Un-delete.

The laying of stumbling blocks in the Jewish Cultural Center Ljubljana on Križevniška ulica 7 was followed by an installation (587 bulbs flashing in time to the audio recording of the first and last names) by Vadim Fiškin and Miran Mohar (Irwin), dedicated to Slovenian victims of holocaust and by an exposition of minimized reconstructed portraits by Vuk Ćosić. The project is titled Undeleted - Reconstructed portraits of deleted Jewish fellow citizens of Ljubljana and its posters are placed near their last places of residence.

Through time the portraits of around half of the deleted Jews have been preserved, for the other half Čosić has developed, in collaboration with Plahuta, a special method digital face reconstruction “poetic fake”. They created new faces by combining photos of people with the same name and/or last name from approximately the same period they found online. Čosić believes that the deleted live in Internet’s scattered digital memory and need to be re-constructed anew or un-deleted, which is also the title of the project. He designed the portraits out of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet creating a double effect: if onlookers observe the portrait on large street posters from afar, they will see a portrait but by coming closer the portrait becomes a text. The effect was explained in the press release.

In Slovenia only two hundred out of around 1500 Jews survived the war and the holocaust. Due to migrations within Yugoslavia the Jewish Community of Slovenia, established in 1954, is culturally much smaller and is one of the smallest in Europe. There are around 150 official members, with the total number of members no bigger than 300, amongst them less than 50 active ones. In Slovenia the first memorial paving stones were laid down in 2012 in Maribor.

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