As director of the Aish UK educational organisation, Rabbi Moshe Mayerfeld has run many Jewish heritage tours down the years.
But the most recent had a special personal significance as he took relatives and 10 young professionals from the UK to Crumstadt, near Frankfurt, for the inauguration of a memorial to his family, who fled from the small town in 1938.
“To be able to do something that was directly family related was something I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity for,” the rabbi said.
Rabbi Mayerfeld’s father Bernhard was three years old when he, his brother, parents and grandparents were forced to leave their home by the Nazis.
Last Friday, six stolperstein metal plaques were placed outside the former Mayerfeld family home, one for each person who had to leave.
The stolperstein art project has seen more than 50,000 memorial plaques sited around Europe, commemorating individuals at the last place they lived before becoming victims of Nazism.
When made aware of the plans to install the plaques, “we booked tickets for my family to go almost immediately”, Rabbi Mayerfeld said. “Then I decided to make an Aish trip out of it.
“It made it that much more personal. I was filled with emotion and excitement to be able to connect to our past — and to be able to connect not only with my immediate family, but with the group of young professionals who were with us, with a powerful perspective for the future.”