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Catalan government body Memorial Democràtic (Democratic Memorial) has this week organised the installation of nine new Stolpersteine ("stumbling stones") in memory of victims of the Third Reich. So far, there have been 124 such memorials placed around Catalonia. The project is the work of German artist Gunter Demnig.

Stolpersteine are 10x10 cm (3.9×3.9 in) concrete cubes bearing a brass plate inscribed with the name, birth year and fate of victims of the Nazi regime. They are generally placed in the pavement in front of the last known location the person freely chose to live or work before their imprisonment or deportation. Each stone is unique and made individually by hand, as a gesture of respect and humanity to contrast with the industrial extermination and persecution of the Nazi regime.

This Friday and Saturday, stones have been installed in Prats de Lluçanes (2), Puig-Reig (3), Sant Vicenç de Castellet (1), Cubelles (1), Albatàrrec (1) and Lleida (1). This comes a week after the last Catalan survivor of the concentration camps, Neus Català, passed away.

70,000 Stolpersteine around the world

The first Stolpersteine in Catalonia were five in Navàs in 2015 at the initiative of the town council. Since 2017, Memorial Democràtic has coordinated the necessary research and applications for Stolpersteine in Catalonia. Before this week's new nine, there were 115 around the autonomous community. Around the world there are over 70,000 in at least 24 countries.

Besides the five in Navàs, Catalonia before this week had Stolpersteine in Castellar del Vallès (5), Cervera (3), Els Guiamets (1), Girona (16), Granollers (7), Granyena de Segarra (1), Igualada (10), Manresa (24), Olesa de Montserrat (10), les Olugues (1), Prenyanosa (1), el Pont de Vilomara i Rocafort (1), Sabadell (25), Sant Antolí i Vilanova (1), Sanaüja (1), Talaver (1), Torà (1) and Tarroja de Segarra (1).

There are plans to install five more in Catalonia on 1st June this year in Santa Coloma de Queralt (3), Vallfogona de Riucorb (1) and Pontils (1).

The above tweet shows the location of the Stolpersteine in Catalonia. White are those previously laid, yellow are those laid this week, green will be laid in June this year.

Gunter Demnig

A sculptor, Demnig was born in Berlin in 1947. In 1985 he opened a studio in Cologne. The idea for the Stolpersteine started taking shape in 1992 as he commemorated victims 50 years since Heinrich Himmler signed the so-called Auschwitz-Erlass ("Auschwitz decree") ordering the deportation of Sinti and Roma to extermination camps. Since then, the project has grown so much that he now needs the help of sculptor Michael Friedrichs-Friedländer from his own studio outside Berlin.

Catalonia's new Stolpersteine

In Prats de Lluçanès:
Melcior Capdevila Roca. Born 1914. Exiled and deported to Mauthausen in 1940. Freed 05/05/1945.
Josep Tarradellas Noguera. Born 1917. Exiled and deported to Mauthausen in 1941. Murdered 28/07/1943 at Dachau.

In Puig-Reig:
Angel Calsina Claret. Born 1904. Exiled and deported to Mauthausen in 1941. Murdered January 1942 at Gusen.
Enric Garriga Riera. Born 1900. Exiled and deported to Mauthausen in 1941. Murdered 03/11/1941 at Gusen.
Joan Pous Viñeta. Born 1894. Exiled and deported to Mauthausen in 1940. Murdered 08/11/1941 at Gusen.

In Sant Vicenç de Castellet:
Manuel Lorente Galve. Born 1912. Exiled and deported to Mauthausen in 1941. Murdered 31/01/1943 at Gusen.

In Cubelles:
Josep Agustí Bombui. Born 1896. Exiled and deported to Mauthausen in 1940. Murdered 29/11/1941 at Gusen.

In Albatàrrec:
Carmelo Carrera Botines. Born 1916. Exiled and deported to Mauthausen in 1941. Murdered 02/11/1941 at Gusen.

In Lleida:
Miquel Sol Torres. Born 1897. Exiled and deported to Buchenwald on 19/01/1944. Murdered 25/04/1945.

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