For the first time in 2017, after a visit to their great-grandfather’s homeland, the descendants of Hermann Gärtner asked the community of Ruppichteroth to think about laying “Stolpersteine” in order to remember the fate of the murdered and expelled Jews of the village. In 2018, two final classes from the secondary school who, after a contemporary witness interview and a visit to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, collected money for the first two “Stolpersteine” and handed it over to the mayor. The municipal council then decided unanimously to approve the laying of stumbling blocks. Godparents and sponsors for 20 stones were quickly found.
At the first laying in August 2019, a total of 13 stones were installed, including those for Gustav and Mathilde Gärtner, whose grandchildren and great-grandchildren had traveled from Sweden and the USA. A second laying in summer 2020 had to be postponed due to the corona situation.