This essay describes a personal encounter with the Stolperstein or “stumbling stone” project, which brought together the descendants of a Jewish family that resided in Wurzen, Germany, during the Nazi era. The individual German citizens who are involved in the project acknowledge the atrocities committed by their country and participate in the project to memorialize the victims. I contrast their response with current American controversies over Confederate statues and buildings named for slaveholders. I argue that the United States might benefit from a Stolperstein-like project that encourages us to recognize the brutal aspects of our history, as it would be a positive step toward national reconciliation.

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