Saturday, August 23, 2008

Signs Commemorating the Baiersdorfer Jüdenfriedhof

There is a sign commemorating the Baiersdorfer Jüdenfriedhof [Baiersdorfer Jewish Cemetary] on Judengasse [Jewish Alley). Although the cemetary is just off this street, there do not appear to be any Jewish people living there.

Here is the beginning of the commemorative sign
Translation: "The local Jewish Cemetary is the oldest of the earldom of Kulmbach-Bayreuth and Anspach. It was already existing/laid out/designed/constructed in 1388, at the time of the first rebuilding of the town after its destruction by the Nuremburgers. It was even inside the city fortress walls. Jews from the principality of Kulmbach-Bayreuth and Anspach found their last resting place; but also the remains from the synagogue at Bamberg. Also the dead from the well-known synagogue at Tüchersfeld were set here."
"The gravestones here show the assimilation of the Jewish folk. The ritual symbols tell the position of the dead person in the Jewish community. A Jewish grave was only laid one time and at this 'Good Place' the deceased waited for judgement day. One can see in the Baiersdorfer Jewish Cemetary how the theme of 'Family Grave' is lost. Also, there are graves from famous people, like David Diespeck, one of the most famous rabbis of his time, and also one of the first professors of Jewish belief that was ordained at Friedrich Alexander University."
"The Jewish Cemetary has survived, even despite desecration during the Third Reich. Its graves testify to the changing history, not only of the Jews here, but also to the spirit of the times, [prevailing opinion or the ruling class], to the rise and fall of towns; and to the social and sociological circumstances/realities of history."
It is amazing that the small cemetary in this small town has survived and is preserved. It is indeed a testimony as both this sign and the monument in the cemetary point out. Clearly, there was a thriving Jewish community for 700 years. There is no evidence now of a living Jewish community. All the graves end in 1938. There is no sign of Jewish people living in the immediate area now.

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