“Here Lived…” Stolperstein Laid for Famed Writer Jenő Rejtő
Ábrahám Vass 2019.09.16.
Stolperstein (stumbling stone), a 10 × 10 cm cobblestone memorial commemorating Holocaust victims, has been placed for famed Hungarian Jewish writer Jenő Rejtő (P. Howard) who died as a forced labourer in 1943.
Organised by civils and the Federation to Maintain Jewish Culture in Hungary (MAZSIKE), the event took place on Friday, in the 2nd district’s Bimbó str. of Budapest, where Rejtő departed from to forced labour in 1942.
At the ceremony, the project’s initiator, German artist Gunter Demnig was also present, what is more, he was decorated with the Golden Cross of Merit of Hungary. Additionally, he laid another hundred stumbling stones in ten municipalities of Hungary between 12 and 16 September.
Jenő Rejtő (a.k.a. P. Howard, Gibson Lavery) was a Hungarian journalist and pulp fiction writer who died in 1943, during forced labour at Evdakovo in the Soviet Union. Despite the 'pulp' nature of his writings, he is widely read in Hungary and also much appreciated by literary critics. He is widely seen as the writer who lifted the genre to the level of serious art.
Demnig set the Stolpersteine project in motion in 1992. A small bronze plaque (engraved with the name, the date of birth, the place and time of death) is inserted in the pavement commemorating the victim outside their last-known freely chosen residence. “A person is only forgotten when his or her name is forgotten,” as Deming often refers to the Talmud when asked about the project.
Demnig with two stumbling stones in 2012 in Budapest. Image by MTI/Bea Kallos
To this date, more than 70 thousands of them have been laid across Europe (with hundreds in Hungary) making it the world’s biggest decentralised memorial.