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Stolpersteine (Stumbling Stones) for Teltow

Jens Leder and Dr Gabriele Bergner.

Their aim to lay ‘stumbling stones’ victims of the Nazi persecution in Teltow has led the two historians, Gabriele Bergner and Jens Leder, to the International Tracing Service (ITS) this week. For the members of the initiative 'stumbling stones in Teltow' this was the second visit to Arolsen. "On our previous trip we successfully researched the fate of Jewish residents," explains Bergner. "That's why we came back."

In the year 2011, the members of the initiative in Teltow have laid 16 stumbling stones and presented the exhibition “They were our neighbors - Jewish Life in Teltow to 1945”. Now they began to investigate the fates of other persecuted groups. "We want to lay between 10 and 15 stones this year," says Bergner. "There were Communists who distributed the party newspaper The Red Flag, or other persecutees who opposed the Nazi regime." In the ITS archives, the researchers found orders for protective custody, prisoner registration cards, deportation lists and discharge papers from concentration camps and Gestapo prisons.

First, the researchers only had a few pieces of the puzzle. "On old leaflets I had found names which I could check in the ITS database," reports Bergner. "The residents’ registration records from that time are unfortunately not available which makes the work for us more difficult." The researchers want to gather more information in the Brandenburg Landeshauptarchiv (Brandenburg state archives). The working group of about ten volunteers is supported by the town of Teltow.