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Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

Dear Friends,

During the past year, the worldwide pandemic unfortunately has also affected the work of the Stolpersteine Initiative Göppingen. Thus, the ceremony of laying Stumbling Stones for the Löwenthal couple in Wäschenbeuren and for the Zeimann couple in Süßen could only take place with a few invited guests. However, thanks to Margit Haas, who covered the ceremony for the local newspaper NWZ, it was possible to make the public aware of it. In addition, there was a detailed, well-designed brochure which was published by members of the Löwenthal family.

In addition to these Stumbling Stones, which had

already been planned the previous year, there was another which was laid in December for Kurt Kuhnle in Göppingen. The laying of the Stumbling Stone took place exactly 80 years after his murder which was due to the fact that he was the mentally ill. Mr. Kuhnle died in the gas chamber of Grafeneck, a Nazi extermination institution. An unexpected discovery, on the other hand, led us to have the Stumbling Stone for Emil Katz removed in Göppingen. Emil Katz was born in Rodalben, and Peter Conrad, a friend and archivist there, located a death certificate that showed he had already died in 1924.

In previous years, the preparations for the Göppingen Stumbling Stones had been guided and financially supported by Wolfram Hosch, the director of the Göppinger Cultural Department. Mr. Hosch has since retired, and the Stolperstein Initiative looks back at his work with gratitude. This also applies to the cooperation with Dr. Karl-Heinz Rueß, the long-time head of the Department of Archives and Museums in Göppingen. He was always the competent and helpful contact when it came to research about Göppingen. We also would like to wish Dr. Rueß a pleasant retirement, but their retirement does not mean a farewell, because as 'private persons' they still belong to our group.

A new member is Susanne Ganthaler, who offered to regularly maintain the Stumbling Stones in the Göppingen district, which she began immediately. Thank you very much!

Apart from the research into the fate of Kurt Kuhnle, the fates of others were explored and described in 2020: Peter Conrad dealt with the Baer and Metzger families in Süssen, Klaus Maier-Rubner with the life of Falk Sahm, whose Stumbling Stone had been laid in Süßen several years ago. Together with the biographies of the Löwenthals and Zeimanns, five new theme pages have been created on our homepage.

Thanks to our hard-working translators Ingrid Rockwell and Peter Ritz, the texts can be read in English. Sybille Eberhardt, whose book about the Geislingen forced laborers was mentioned in last year's newsletter, has published another important book this year entitled 'What Happened to You, Isaak’. In it, she traces the last years of Isaak Komras, who was born in Vilnius / Lithuania, was abused by the Nazis as a forced laborer, survived, but died shortly after liberation. His grave can be found in the Göppingen cemetery. Harry Legg’s thesis ‘The Holocaust as the Great Leveller?', published in English, also has a close connection with Göppingen because it traces the fate of the Göppingen Eisig family, who had to flee the Nazi dictatorship. They did not belong to the Jewish faith but were considered 'Jewish' by the Nazis because of their ancestors. We also support Mr. Legg in researching his follow-up work.

The outlook for 2021 is clouded by the current pandemic situation. In any case, we will pursue our seemingly everlasting task, which is to maintain and update the homepage.

In the coming year we expect a publication on the patients from the Göppingen Klinik Christophsbad who were murdered.
It is possible that there will be additional Stumbling Stones due to new findings.

We would like to thank all those who have helped us in 2020, whether through professional assistance or with donations. Our treasurer Friedemann Messer should be pleased with the account balance.

We wish you an especially healthy year 2021.

Klaus Maier-Rubner on behalf of all members of the Initiative Stolpersteine Göppingen e.V

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends!

The “Stumbling Stones Initiative Göppingen”  is made up of a group of people who are interested in local history. We work as volunteers researching the lives and fates of citizens of Göppingen county who were expelled or murdered by the Nazis. They were people who were ‘racially’ persecuted, socially ostracized, political opponents, victims of euthanasia and gay men.

After completing the research, we then ask Cologne artist Gunter Demnig to create the Stumbling Stones and install them in front of the former residences of the victims. Students from local schools then describe their lives during the dedication ceremony. The Initiative also arranges for the financing of the Stumbling Stones and appreciates any sponsorships. After the installation of a Stumbling Stone on public land, it then becomes the property of the respective community.

We would like to thank all individuals, local authorities and companies who have supported the Stumbling Stones project and our Initiative and who continue to do so. As a non-profit organization, we can provide receipts for donations.

A special thanks goes to contemporary witnesses for sharing their memories and memorabilia.

Even though the fates of many of the victims from Göppingen county have already been documented, the task of the Stumbling Stones Initiative is not yet complete. The biographical texts are continuously being supplemented and updated. At the end of the texts, there is a space for you to send us any recommendations for additions as well as any comments. We can also be reached by e-mail or phone.