A committee in Oisterwijk has been formed to participate in the Stolpersteine project to commemorate a special group of war victims: the WWII victims of National Socialisme who lived in Oisterwijk between 1933-1945. These inhabitants of Oisterwijk were deported and murdered during the German occupation due to their religious beliefs.
The Stolpersteine project has been created by the German artist Gunter Demnig. Since 1996 more than 60,000 tiles have been placed in 13 European countries.
Brass tiles are placed in the pavement in front of the last known address with the name, year of birth, date of deporatation, date and place of death.
The term Stolpersteine means literally stumbling stone, but figuratively you stumble with your mind and heart over the fate of the victims. To read the tekst you bow down a bit again showing respect to those who were murdered.
After thorough historical research 22 individuals have been identified as victims. Their last known addresses in Oisterwijk and Heukelom have been traced and authorized.
If the house no longer exists a tile will be placed in the pavement at the original location of the house.
The committee members are interested inhabitants of Oisterwijk:
Chairman: Sjef van de Bijgaart; Secretary/treasurer: Kees Welmers
Members: Ad van den Oort, historian; Peter Slingerland; Naomi Adler; Wim Lauwerijssen; Joost van den Berg; Joop de Krom.
By placing these tiles Gunter Demnig cites a Talmudic saying reflecting the meaning:
“A person is only forgotten when his/her name is forgotten”.So we shall not forget. It is also important that this dark side of history is not forgotten and told forth to future generations.
To realize this project two years will be needed for the research and organization. Once the names and addresses have been finalized , surviving family will be traced to inform them about the project and to gain permission for placing of the Stolpersteine.
Family members will be invited to the stone setting. The present inhabitants of the houses/addresses where the victims lived, will also be informed and invited to participate in the stone setting.
A „city walk“ through a street in Oisterwij will soon change to a “walk through history”.
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