Setting the memory of Holocaust victims in stone

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You only really start to understand the place when you get a feel for its past. And a nation's history isn't only to be found on its battlefields, or in the ruins of its castles. It also lies in the bones of its culture - in its poems, in its music, and in the stories your neighbours might tell you.

The door-handles of my old Berlin apartment are beautiful. Brass, art nouveau and engraved with flowers worn smooth by more than 100 years of hands - the hands of those who lived here before....

In the pavements of Berlin, there's brass. Here and there, small cobbles of it. They're a little worn - like the lovely door-handles in our home - but by wind and weather, rather than hands.

And instead of flowers, each is engraved with a person's name, date of birth and their death.

The word, "ermordet" - murdered - is almost always there. Or sometimes, "Flucht in den Tod" - "killed whilst trying to escape". Or "Freitod" - "Suicide".

These brass cobbles are "Stolpersteine" - "stumbling blocks" - hand-made by sculptor Gunter Demnig who, for the past 14 years, has worked with his hammer, chisel and drill to set his commissioned blocks outside front doors throughout continental Europe....

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