It is a Jewish tradition to place a small stone on someone's grave when visiting it. This tradition may have arisen from the fact that graves were once marked with mounds of stones, so leaving a stone continuously maintained the monument of the deceased. It is a way of saying "Here lie the remains of a person worth remembering." It also lets others know that someone came and remembered.
Symbolically, it also suggests The Rock of Israel-- whose love is stronger than death.
In keeping with this tradition, I created a special installation for this exhibit. I laid down 68 tiles – one for each of the Jews from Limburg, my father-in-law's hometown, who perished during the Holocaust. I also put a container with small stones next to the tiles. A chart associating each tile with the name of one of these people was given to each visitor to the exhibit. Visitors were invited to choose a name and leave a stone on that person's tile to honor and remember them.
This simple act proved to be very powerful. By providing a physicalized and highly personalized way for visitors to connect with the grim reality of the Holocaust, the installation transformed vague knowledge about a historical event into an immediate, visceral reality. There were a lot of tears. I think this installation was especially important for Gentile visitors, who may have never had an opportunity to relate to the Holocaust on such an individual level.