Jewish cemetery Alsbach - Jüdischer Friedhof Alsbach
The Jewish cemetery in the Alsbach-Hähnlein community on Bergstrasse , twelve kilometers south of Darmstadt , is one of the oldest and largest in the region. It extends over the area between the federal highway 3 in the east between Darmstadt and Heidelberg in the east and the railway line in the west between the same cities, directly north of the highway between the districts of Alsbach and Hähnlein.
The first written evidence of the cemetery can be found in the years 1423 and 1563 in old Alsbach account books. The cemetery area, which was originally less than a quarter of a hectare , was expanded in 1743, 1793 and 1858 and now covers an area of just over 22,600 square meters . According to the Commission for the History of the Jews in Hesse , the cemetery has a total of 2,128 preserved tombstones from the years 1615 to 1948 - an unknown number of other graves were desecrated and destroyed during the Nazi era .
One of the most famous graves is that of Rabbi Abraham Samuel Ben Isaak Bacharach (1575–1615). He was chief rabbi of Worms - the oldest Jewish community on German soil - and imperial rabbi of Germany. After the Worms Jewish pogrom in 1615 he and his community fled to Gernsheim . There he died on May 2nd, 1615 at the age of only 40 and was buried in the Alsbach cemetery. His high reputation among German Jews meant that Jews from 14 synagogue communities with members from 32 administrative communities were buried here near the rabbis grave - from Darmstadt and Pfungstadt in the north to Lorschand Biblis in the southwest and Bensheim and Heppenheim in the south, from Gernsheim and Groß-Rohrheim in the west to Reichenbach in the Odenwald in the east, but above all the nearby communities of Alsbach and Hähnlein , Bickenbach , Zwingenberg , Seeheim and Jugenheim . It was not until 1741 that Landgrave Ludwig VIII (1739–1768) of Hessen-Darmstadt gave the Jewish community permission to enclose the cemetery with a wall to protect it from wild animals.
During the November pogrom in 1938 , the cemetery was desecrated by SA followers from Alsbach, Bickenbach and Hähnlein. Numerous tombstones were destroyed, the entrance on the northern edge and the house of the dead on the eastern edge of the site were blown up. The cemetery register, which had documented all burials of the previous 300 years, was also destroyed.
In 1945 the cemetery was restored by order of the US occupation army . Local ex- NSDAP members were given the task of setting up the tombstones and cleaning the inscriptions. The initiator of this project was a US soldier who emigrated to America from Reichenbach in the Odenwald and whose parents are buried in the cemetery. However, especially in the eastern, oldest part of the cemetery, many graves could no longer be reconstructed.
On the 50th anniversary of the November pogrom in 1938, the cemetery was restored in November 1988 on the initiative of the then Bickenbach mayor Schemel and a memorial plaque was erected on the site of the destroyed Tahara house. On the 70th anniversary of November 9, 2008, the ruins of the blown up Tahara house, which had been overgrown by bushes in recent years, were exposed again and the cemetery and the local synagogues of the region were desecrated, shops such as apartments and the humiliation of Jewish fellow citizens on this day as well as Jewish life in South Hesse before 1933 was commemorated in a full-day program with guided tours, eyewitness reports and a klezmer concert.
- Article about the Jewish sculptor Benno Elkan , who lived in Alsbach an der Bergstrasse from 1911 to 1919 and is probably the most prominent member of the local Jewish community.
- Klaus-Dieter Alicke : Lexicon of the Jewish communities in the German-speaking area. Volume 1: Aach - Groß-Bieberau. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2008, ISBN 978-3-579-08077-2 ( online version ).
- Hartmut Heinemann, Christa Wiesner: The Jewish cemetery in Alsbach on Bergstrasse. Commission for the history of the Jews in Hessen Wiesbaden 2001, ISBN 978-3-921434-22-2 .
- Jewish cemetery Alsbach near Alemannia Judaica
- Info page about the cemetery on the pages "Odenwald-Ausflug.de"