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New app will give a voice to the victims of Nazism


Dissemination and teaching material of stumbling blocks

The worldwide phenomenon of the 'stumbling blocks' brings the past into the present as little golden memorials that tell important stories. When you see the stumbling blocks in the pavement, you can now, through a new app, get closer to the people who fell victim to the Holocaust and Nazism. The app was created by Historiens Hus in Odense and with content produced by the Danish Jewish Museum.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the action against the Danish Jews in October '43. Although the Danish narrative during the war is in many ways light compared to the fate of other European Jews, not all of them succeeded in escaping to Sweden. In Denmark, too, both Jews and others who were persecuted for their religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation or contribution to the resistance ended up as victims of the crimes of Nazism.

To commemorate the victims of Nazism, the so-called 'stumbling stones' are laid out in front of the individual person's last known place of residence. It is Europe's – and probably the world's – largest decentralized memorial with over 90.000 stones worldwide. In Denmark, more than 2019 stones have been laid since 60, and many more are on the way.

Stumbling blocks can seem unmediated to the extent that when you meet them in the urban space, who is the person for whom the stone was laid and why was it laid? As a communication supplement in addition to the biographies on the websites of various stumbling block groups, a new app is now coming in a Danish context. In the app, you can hear the victim's personal story on the spot – right there on the pavement where you 'stumbled' over the stone.

"The story only exists if it is told. It's a slightly different and new way of conveying history, which is particularly targeted at the younger generations," says museum director Janus Møller Jensen.

With this new app, a medium has been created which can help to ensure greater accessibility and nationwide dissemination of this special part of Danish history by adding a digital dissemination layer. At the same time, teaching material is being developed that will be available from the autumn, when further stumbling blocks will be laid in several Danish cities.

Read the whole the press release here

Try the web app here

Read more about the Danish stumbling blocks here