Embedded into the cobble stones, in what was once the Jewish Ghetto, are a number of small, brass plates.
Each square plate, which is affixed to a concrete cube, is inscribed with a name, a date of birth, a date of arrest, and a date and place of death (if known). The plates are located outside the houses of people who were deported during the second world war to the gas chambers.
The brass-plated cubes, known as stolpersteine (stumbling-stones), are the invention of the German artist Gunter Demnig. The Stolperstein project, which was initiated in 1992, aims to commemorate victims of the holocaust at their last known place of residence. To date, tens of thousands of stolpersteine have been laid in cities throughout Europe.
The majority of the stolpersteine in Rome bear the date October 16th, 1943, the day 1,023 members of the city's Jewish community were deported to Auschwitz. Only sixteen people survived.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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