I belong to a generation born decades after the second world-war. While growing up I had only heard of
the war in stories but I could not comprehend this dark and terrible history. I chose to seek commemorative
plaques and personal stories as a way to confront our collective past. Looking for traces in stones,
I found personal stories of people who lost their lives during the war or flee to another country to save their life.
Through this series, I have tried to retell these memoirs emotionally. In my series „Without“ I visited different
places in Germany where 10×10 centimeter large stones called ‚Stolperstein‘ have been installed on pavements.
A stolperstein literallytranslated as „stumbling block“ is a type of hand engraved monument created by artist,
Gunter Demnig, to commemorate victims of Nazi oppression, including the Holocaust. The stones remember the
victims of expulsion and extermination – Jews, Gypsies, the politically persecuted, homosexuals and Jehovah‘s
Witnesses amongst others. One can find a countless number of these in Germany as well as all over Europe.
The stones detail information about the deceased: the name, year of birth and the fate, as well as the dates of
deportation and death, if known. Through my images, I capture a feeling of the last place of residence of the victims
and remember these stories that should never be repeated.
Täglich laufen viele Leute an ihm vorbei. Einem kleinen quadratischen Stein, der in den Gehweg eingelassen wurde.
Durch seine Größe fällt er auf dem dunklen Asphalt kaum auf. Sieht man näher hin, erzählt er die Geschichte von
Levi Abt, Geschäftsführer der Bremer Hypotheken- und Treuhand GmbH, der 1941 aufgrund seiner Herkunft und
Überzeugung umgebracht wurde. Auf Anregung des Künstlers Gunter Demnig wurden an mehr als 500 Orten in
Deutschland und der EU bisher 56.000 Stolpersteine verlegt. Die 10×10 cm große Gedenktafeln erinnern an die
nationalsozialistische Willkührherrschaft der einzelnen Schicksale. Die Fotoserie Without zeigt die Umgebung oder
den letzten selbstgewählten Wohnort der Opfer an verschiedene Orte in Deutschland und erinnert an die vielen
City of Würzburg, Germany — Am Pleidenturm 6
Anneliese Winterstein worked as a laundress in a company called „Edelweiss“. Her employers reported Anneliese, because she left work without permission. In the interrogation with the Gestapo she told them that she left her work because her sister needed help at home after the birth of her baby. From the 23nd of March 1943 to 4nd of May 1943 she was sent to prison for „wrongful absences from work“. On 2nd November 1944 she was again taken into „preventive custody“ with the aim of deporting her to the concentration camp in Auschwitz. In early April 1944, she was finally deported to Auschwitz, where she arrived on 4nd of May 1944. There the SS assigned her as a prostitute for the camp. Out of shame and despair she ended her live on 6nd of December 1944. She ran into the electric fence of the camp.
City of Mannheim, Germany — Meerfeld Street 4a
Marianne, born in Mannheim, was the daughter of a businessman and moved to Berlin with her family in 1929.
The flight of the Jewish family from the Nazis ended in 1939 with their internment in the Gurs camp in Southern
France. Marianne was an organizer of the Zionist youth movement in the southern part of occupied France. On May
31, 1944 she tried to stop a transport of 32 Jewish children, between three and nineteen years old, from Lyon to
safety in Switzerland. Just before the reached Switzerland the rescue failed. Marianne and the children were taken
to a jail. The Mayor, Jean Duffaugt, offered Marianne a chance to flee alone. But she refused and decided to stay with
the children. Eventually the children were rescued. But Marianne was found dead during the liberation of the town
on August 23rd 1944 under a pile of corpses.
Village of Mainbernheim, Germany — Untere Brunnengasse 4
Here lived Meta and Philipp Haussmann, born in 1899 and 1878. Meta was deported in 1942 to the concentration camp in
Izbica in eastern Poland, and Philipp in the same year to Theresienstadt. After this there are no records of what happened
to them. Now these stones serve as the only remembrance of their lives in the village of Mainbernheim.
City of Hamburg, Germany — Neuer Wall 19
Benno Hirschfeld was born in 1879. He lived in Hamburg. Today only a small stone, 10×10 centimeter in size, remains as a memorial of his life there. In 1943 he was arrested and taken to the concentration Camp in Kuhlsbuettel. Later he was deported to Auschwitz and killed on the 10th of April in 1945 in Buchenwald.
City of Aschaffenburg, Germany — Dalbergstrasse 78
In Dalbergstrasse 78, Aschaffenburg, today only three small stones 10×10 centimeters stones remind that serve as a remembrance of the story of David and Maier Feldmann and their housemade Selma Frank. In 1942 all of them were deported and killed in Krasniczyn.
City of Bremen, Germany — Geestemuenderstr. 22
Levi Abt was born in 1876 in Eldagsen, Germany. He quit his job as a butcher and worked as a Managing Director in the
Hypotheken- and Treuhand GmbH in Bremen. Levi met Frieda and married her. They had two children, Karl and Gertrud. In 1939
the family prepared to emigrate to Antwerp. However, the emigration was not successful. After the resolution of their apartment
they found a accommodation in the „Jewish house“ in the Geestemuender Str. 22. On the 23rd of July 1942 Levi and Frieda were
deported to the concentration camp Theresienstadt. Levi died on 06.08.1943. Frieda survived, she returned to Bremen in 1945
and a year later moved with their son Karl to Israel.
City of Heidelberg, Germany — Dantestrasse 2
In 1935 Family Baer lived in the ‚House of Dante‘, Street 24, in Heidelberg. On the 22nd of October 1940 Alfred and his wife Klara, amongst other Jews of Heidelberg (around 300 people), were deported to Gurs, in Southern France . They were both taken to the Recebedou camp. Alfred died there on the 2nd of May 1941. In August 1942, Klara was deported via Paris / Drancy to Auschwitz. She was probably killed in September 1942. There Children, Doris Ellen (15 years old) and Hans Dieter (12 years old) were saved as they were sent away with other children to England in March 1939. Though they faced several problems as Jews, they both eventually received an education in England. Doris Ellen emigrated to the USA in 1950. Her brother remained in England.
City of Hamburg, Germany — Koppel 18
Gertrud Jaschinski was born in 1918 in Hamburg. She probably did not finish her education. In 1938, she moved to the red light district of St. Georg. There, she worked as a chambermaid in hotels, a dancer in nightclubs and as a prostitute. In May 1940 Gertrud was taken into „protective custody“ and was later sent to a concentration camp in Ravensbrueck. She was officially declared a criminal by Hamburg police in May 1942, and she died on March 5, 1942 in the Ravensbrueck concentration camp. Her memorial site in Ravensbrueck claims, however, that she was a victim of „black transports“ in the spring of 1942 in Bernburg, where predominantly women of Jewish origin were murdered with poison gas.