Terry Swartzberg speaks to America’s Jews on…meeting an unknown Putin, on the Stolpersteine, on 9 years of wearing a kippa in public

“Conversations with Chuck Newman” is broadcast by the Jewish Federation of Munich. This week’s guest: Terry Swartzberg, the Munich-based, New York-born ethical campaigner. In the course of his 25-year career at the International Herald Tribune, Terry encountered in 1996 a minor Petersburg official named Vladimir Putin.

Since 2011, Terry has headed the Stolpersteine in organization in Munich. Munich has over 200 of these sidewalk-level brass plaques, each commemorating a victim of the Holocaust: Jew, gay, Sinti and Roma and others. Munich in turn is one of 1800 cities in which Stolpersteine are to be found. All told, there are nearly 100,000 Stolpersteine in 27 countries.

These figures make the Stolpersteine the world’s project of Holocaust commemoration. The Stolpersteine are, in fact, the largest program of remembrance that the world has ever seen.

Since December 1, 2012 Terry has been wearing a kippa in public. This “kippa experiment” – as it is referred to in German media – began as Terry’s attempt to find out whether or not it was safe for him to be visibly Jewish on the streets of Germany and Europe.

Nine + years. 3297 days and counting. 165 cities. 14 countries later: thousands of heartwarming and amusing experiences. No bad ones.

And the kippa adventure goes on.

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Terry

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