Beautiful and powerful essay, Carly. I’m from Pennsylvania, but I’ve lived in Berlin for a couple of years now. Tourists may not understand the significance of these tiny memorials, sadly, but I hope it helps to know that even some of us locals who see the Stolpersteine every day are not impervious to them; I still make a point sometimes of bending down to read them and to imagine the people’s stories.

And even now, nearly five years after I first visited Berlin and saw these plaques in the cobblestones, they can still sometimes almost make me cry.

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