Jewish Stepping-Stone Memorials Stolen From Southern Dutch Town
Five memorial stepping stones from a former Jewish family’s home in the southern Dutch town of Spijkenisse were stolen last week, Dutch Broadcast Foundation NOS reported on Monday.
The stolen bronze-plated memorial stones, which were designed by German artist Gunter Demnig and are placed at Nazi victims’ homes throughout Europe, were dedicated to members of the Levie family who were deported from Spijkenisse in 1942 by the occupying Germans.
Police said the motive for the theft was unclear.
Similar memorials, called Stolpersteine, were also stolen from Middleharnis in the western Netherlands earlier this year. Additionally, in 2012, three Stolpersteine were extracted from the street in Rome and replaced with regular cobblestones, drawing the ire of Italy’s Jewish community.
Earlier this year, Munich voted to maintain a ban against the inlaid memorials, after opponents of the Stolpersteine, including the president of Munich’s organized Jewish community, argued that the memorials disrespected their commemorated victims, because passersby step on them.