BAMBERG, Germany -- Eleven Army Junior Reserve OfficersAca,!a,,c Training Corps cadets from Bamberg Middle High School met with teenagers from the local German community to clean Aca,!A"StolpersteineAca,!A? memorial stones commemorating victims of Nazism who lived in Bamberg Nov. 17.

The activity was coordinated by the Willy Aron Society, a local group led by Nikolai Czugunow-Schmitt.

The group encourages students to takeA,A responsibility for maintainingA,A and developing democracy,A,A respecting human rights and promoting tolerance of other cultures and religions.

The group also honors those who demonstrated civil courage and died for their convictions during the Nazi-era. In Bamberg, thoseA,A menA,A included Willy Aron, a young Jewish lawyer; Claus Graf von Stauffenberg, a military leader who as part of the German Resistance movement; andA,A Hans WAfAPlfel, a Catholic lawyer.

At every location, Czugunow-Schmitt gave a brief history of each of the victims. The German and American students cleaned the stones together and placed roses to honor their lives.

Aca,!A"We learned a lot about the victims of Nazism,Aca,!A? said Cadet Sylvia Lopez Silva. Aca,!A"It was interesting and fun.Aca,!A?

At the last stop, the students cleaned the memorial stones of Stauffenberg and his mother-in-law Anna von Lerchenfeld.

The students then toured the house where the StauffenbergAca,!a,,cs lived.

Aca,!A"I thought the trip was a great way to support and remind us of those people who stood up in a time of need when everyone else gave up,Aca,!A? said Cadet Ronelle Tajalle. Aca,!A"It showed me courage is always there to open our eyes to the issues that have a negative impact.Aca,!A?

The cadets ended the evening with a tour of the new synagogue where they learned that after World War II there were only nine Jewish men living in the city, not enough to form a Minyan. A Minyan is a quorum of 10 Jewish men required for divine service. There are now more than a 1,000 Jews living in and around Bamberg.

Aca,!A"It was fun and helped us gain cultural ties with the German community,Aca,!A? said Cadet Jonathan Thiele.

Future plans call for the German and American students to create an audio walking tour guide of the memorial stones in English and German.

The cadets are also considering raising money to purchase a memorial stone.

There are currently 50 stones in Bamberg but more than 300 victims lost their lives during the war. Each stone costs Ac'A!125.

Additional information on the Willy Aron Society may be found at

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16