First Stolperschwelle in Chernivtsi soon to be installed

A very special event will take place on 2nd of July in Chernivtsi.  A solemn installation of a Stolperschwelle (translated from German “stumbling threshold“) will be held in the front of the entrance to the future  Ivan Mykolaichuk Cinema Centre, which is situated in Holovna Street, 140. This memorial sign will remind contemporary generations of thousands of Jewish citizens of Chernivtsi, who were deported 75 years ago by the henchmen of the Rumanian Antonescu-regime to the gettos and camps in Transnistria.

That is why the famous German artist Gunter Demnig, the creator of the idea to honor victims of National Socialists by small and decentral comemorial plates, will come to Chernivtsi by the invitation of our museum and the Chernivtsi City Council to install the Stolperschwelle. He personally will install the memorial sign, made in Germany in the form of a long brass segment with an engraved inscription.  Thus, Chernivtsi will become the 1101st  place in Europe and the 2nd city in Ukraine (after Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi), where such signs already exist.

The place and the time weren’t chosen by chance: Almost at the exact place, where during the Soviet times the cinema “Druzhba” was built, which later was named after Ivan Mykolaichuk, in pre-war time the stadium of the popular Jewish sport club “Makkabi” was situated. As this stadium was near the railway station Grădina Publică (now Chernivtsi Pivdenna), it was used by the Romanian military authority as a gathering point. After roll call and luggage control Chernivtsi Jews were deported from there by trains over the Dnister. In June 1942 such deportations took place every Saturday. During such actions, to be precise on 28th of June, the young poets Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger and Immanuel Weissglas with their families, as well as Paul Celan’s and Peter Demant’s parents were deported from this gathering point.

The ceremony of the memorial installing will begin at 9:00. Citizens, guest of Chernivtsi and representatives of mass media are invited to participate in the ceremony.


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