20 new Stolpersteine in Gouda, the Netherlands, thanks to the IPA World Congress 2019 fundraiser

07 Apr 2019


On Monday morning 11th March, Gunter Demnig laid twenty new Stolpersteine at seven addresses in Gouda. All other ‘stumble stones’ had been polished by volunteers the week before, so now we have got 258 shiny Stolpersteine at 64 addresses in our city.stolpersteine1

It was a cold and rainy day, but the ceremonies at the seven addresses warmed our hearts. Descendants of the deported families attended the laying. Some of them told heart-breaking stories later on, when I showed them the Metaheerhuis with three panels displaying the names of the 388 Nazi victims.   

Alderman Thierry van Vugt gave a speech to show the support of the City of Gouda. Poet Inez Meter, who is in her nineties, recited her wonderful poem ‘stumble stones’, and another poet recited her poignant poem ‘Every stone a victory’. Two school classes were also present, and at all addresses there was a group of people who were involved. They listened attentively to the stories and the kadish that was said and placed pebbles on the newly-laid Stolpersteine.

stolpersteine3After the laying of the Stolpersteine, I mailed Gunter Demnig’s representative to tell her about the ceremonies. I also asked her if we can order new Stolpersteine for next year. I know they’ve got many requests, but hopefully she’ll put us on their list for next year.

Gunter Demnig laid the following new Stolpersteine:

  • Westhaven 59: two Stolpersteine for butcher Sigmund Oppenheimer (65) and his wife Babette Oppenheimer-Blümlein (59).
  • Krugerlaan 66: one Stolperstein for housekeeper Rosetta de Levie (25). For tax official Israël de Levie (56), his wife Johanna de Levie-Zondervan (50), their daughter Evalina Clara de Levie (18) and young niece Rosetta Levano (12) four Stolpersteine had already been laid some years ago.
  • Burgvlietkade 79: three Stolpersteine for Fritz Mohr (42), Alice Mohr-May (39) and their young daughter Renate Mohr (9).
  • Sophiastraat 37: four Stolpersteine for merchant Herbert Kirchheim, his wife psychiatrist Anne Marie Kirchheim-Brahn, their young daughter Margit Lieselotte (6) and for refugee boy Helmut Rosenberg (19). At this address one Stolperstein had already been laid some years ago for Heinz Ludwig Lewkonja (18).
  • Graaf van Bloisstraat 56: three Stolpersteine for metal worker Hermann Lachmann (37), his wife Rachel Margot Lachmann-van Gelder (35) and their young son Jozef Lachmann (7).
  • Crabethstraat 5: four Stolpersteine for Julius Kobijlinski (64) who once owned an electricity business, his wife Hertha Kobijlinski-Naumann (53) and their adult sons Walter (31) and Erich (22).
  • Cappenersteeg 2: three Stolpersteine for the former grocer Gerson Mol (46), his wife, saleswoman Frederika Mol-Wolffers (62) and her sister Sophia Catharina de Gast-Wolffers (61).

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All in all a wonderful morning to remember. I’ve posted the stories on the Facebook page Elisabeth Citroen and on www.goudsmetaheerhuis.nl. At the end of this year I hope to publish a book with stories of the 258 Jewish citizens we have now laid Stolpersteine for in Gouda.

Thank you all for your absolutely overwhelming donations last year. We don’t have to worry anymore if we’ll have the money to achieve what we have in mind: to lay Stolpersteine in Gouda for all 388 Jewish citizens who were deported and killed by the Nazi-regime. It’s so reassuring to know that we have the financial support to accomplish this. With the twenty new Stolpersteine we are well on our way to reach this goal!

Soesja Citroen, Stichting Gouds Metaheerhuis afd. Stolpersteine