“An everlasting remembrance of the innocent people killed by the Nazis and a visual reminder a family can cherish.”
With thanks to Vera Hannush of the Taube Philanthropies for sharing this with me – and making me glad to be part of the Stolpersteine family of commemoration:
Zachary Snyder of Lafayette, California, at his bar mitzvah:
Two summers ago my family and I went on a trip to Italy. While we were there, we visited the Jewish ghetto in Rome.
At the entrance to some of the homes were bronze plaques. These plaques are called stolpersteine which means stumbling block. They are called stolpersteine because they are a little bit elevated from the sidewalk so people can’t pass over them without noticing them. Inscribed on each stone is personal information about the person who lived in the home and was murdered in the Holocaust. The plaque is located at the person’s last place they lived in before they were taken by the Nazis.
The Stolpersteine are an everlasting remembrance of the innocent people killed by the Nazis and a visual reminder a family can cherish.
I was so moved by this experience, that it lead to the beginning of my research for my mitzvah project. I decided that I wanted to begin researching the lives of children lost in the holocaust and commemorate their lives with a stolpersteine. I began searching historical data bases from Yad Vashem to the US Holocaust Memorial. I refined my search looking for a boy that shared my name and lived close to where my family was from in Poland. After a lot of research I found Zakharia Sznajder who was from Ozorkow, Poland, which is 265 miles away from where my great-great-grandfather grew up in Skidel, Poland.