Stumbling Stones Reflection (MG)

The map Feddes included in his piece uses dots amongst other notation to represent that amount of Jews in any given part of the town. On the flip side, the stumbling stones map locates the copper plaques around the city, which don the name, date of birth, and location and date of death of mainly Jewish residents who died during the Holocaust. Looking at the Feddes map, just in one comparatively small block, there was a listed 480 Jewish people living there. The stumbling stones map lists a total of 432 plaques on its entire map. Thus, it’s obvious that many Jewish people who were killed during the Holocaust and taken from Amsterdam have no sort of memorial to their name. I resonated heavily when Kuper compared Amsterdam today to Disney world. Specially when he said, “However, the exhibition at the Secret Annexe barely touches on the betrayal, merely stating in passing that no one knows who the culprit was,” I felt as though I understood what he meant with the Disney world comparison. If you went to Disney world and asked an employee how much of the environment was destroyed, and continues to be destroyed, to allow of the construction and growth of Disney, they wouldn’t give you a straight enthusiastic answer. But they still have created a completely fake environment within the theme parks, even an entire animal kingdom. Bringing that back to Amsterdam post-world war 2, the country, or maybe even the culture of society there, wants as little ties as possible to any negative connections to the Holocaust. But, they have copper plaques around the city, and they use the house Anna Frank hid in, as well as the theatre that Jews were rounded up into, as tourist attractions which bring in revenue. So from Kuper’s comparison I took away that in both cases you have situations where an entity (Disney/Amsterdam) is profiteering off a bad action which they try and write off. For this scenario I used Disney and compared it to the environment because I felt that was the easiest way to compare the two, but theres plenty of other ways to compare them. Disney destroys nature just to build back a fake version of it, and Amsterdam helped round up Jews during the Holocaust but now uses the tragedy of those events to memorialize their country.

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One thought on “Stumbling Stones Reflection (MG)

  1. Michael,

    I really like your analysis of the Stumbling Stones project. I like particularly how you mention the fact that the number of stones does not come close to representing the true number of Jewish people who lost their lives during their deportation from Amsterdam. Though it’s just a minor detail, I like the photo that you chose to accompany this post as well, due to the fact that you featured some engraved stones mixed into the many non-engraved stones. This appeared to me as if the curator of the project may have intentionally tried to bury the memory of these people with the rest of the city, and you would not be remembered unless specifically looked for. This seems to compliment your Disney World analogy very well.

    Like

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