German Sculptor Gunter Demnig installed five brass plaques known as Stolpersteine (‘stumbling blocks’) in Belgrade, engraved with the names of Holocaust victims, where they born and where they died.
One was installed in Belgrade city centre in front of the building where the Dajc family – Emil, Avgusta, Hilda and Hans – lived.
The second location was were well-known Belgrade architect Matvey Ajzinberg lived and third is where publisher Geca Kon and his wife Elza lived.
The others were installed in the Zemun district where Aleksandar Bril lived and in in the Senjak district where Simon and Evgenija Bril lived.
During the ceremony outside the Dajc family’s former home, the president of Federation of Jewish Communities in Serbia, Robert Sabados, praised German artist Demnig’s work to “preserve the names of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, neighbours, friends, who were taken away, torn out, destroyed, even left without a burial place by the mindless Second World War”.
“The stone is there to encourage passers-by, neighbours, bystanders, me, you, all of us, to stop in this hectic moment, read the record and look around in disbelief and ask ourselves the eternal question: ‘Is it possible that this happened?’” Sabados said.
The Stolpersteine project was initiated in 1992 by Demnig, who has installed tens of thousands of small concrete cubes with brass plaques remembering the victims of the Nazis all across Europe. The ‘stumbling blocks’ are placed by the building in which the victim last lived or worked of their own free will.
Belgrade was occupied by the Nazis and thousands of Jews, Serbs and Roma died in a concentration camp in the city.