STA, 17 September 2019 - Lendava and Murska Sobota remembered on Tuesday local Jewish families that perished in the Holocaust, as Stolpersteine, granite cubes bearing the names of the victims, were installed in various locations around the two north-eastern cities in high-profile commemorations.
In Lendava, the "stumbling stones" with brass plates bearing the victims' names were installed in Glavna Ulica street in front of the former homes of the families Blau, Balkanyi and Schwarz.
Since Lendava is located in a bilingual area, each member of the families is remembered with two stones, one with a text in Slovenian and the other in Hungarian.
The first memorial stone was installed by German artist Gunther Demnig, who conceived the project in 1992, and Lendava Mayor Janez Magyar.
The commemoration featured a number of guests, including Jewish community representatives, the victims' relatives, and Erika Fürst as the only living Holocaust survivor from the region of Prekmurje, which used to have a thriving Jewish community before WWII.
It was also attended by Mirjana Gašpar and Beata Lazar, the authors of the book Jews in Lendava, and director of the SAZU's Science and Research Centre Oto Luthar, who comes from Prekmurje.
The president of the Jewish Community in Slovenia Boris Čerin Levy and Rabbi Ariel Haddad from Italy's Trieste were also on hand, with the prayer to be sung by cantor Isidoro Abramowicz from a synagogue in Berlin.
The artistic project of installing the commemorative stones was initiated by Demnig 27 years ago to remember the members of the Jewish community who died in Nazi concentration camps, symbolically bringing them back to their homes.
Since then, Stolpersteine have been installed in more than 610 cities in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ukraine, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Norway.
In Slovenia, the project is coordinated by the Ljubljana Jewish Cultural Centre and by the Maribor Synagogue Centre of Jewish Cultural Heritage, whose head Boris Hajdinjak will today recount some of the stories of the deceased families.
The ceremony in Murska Sobota will be held later in the day to remember the families Berger, Hahn and Frim apart from many other Jewish victims of the Holocaust that have been forgotten until recently.
Lendava and Murska Sobota are thus joining Maribor and Ljubljana, the cities where the first memorial stones were installed in Slovenia in 2012 and 2018, respectively.
The honorary sponsor of the project in the country is President Borut Pahor.
Lean more about the Stolpersteine in Ljubljana here