Traces of Jewish life in the region Haßberge
The Jewish cemetery
The cemetery plays an important role in the Jewish faith. The Jews believe in resurrection, therefore the graves have to be forever. This importance is also found on the gravestone itself, because you can see different symbols and inscriptions with different meanings. They are sometimes in Hebrew, sometimes in the language of the country and sometimes it is a mixture of Hebrew and the national language. Usually the inscription consists of three parts: The introduction, the name of the deceased person, some dates and the final blessing. The symbols on the gravestones can be typical of some cemeteries. They can also characterize various epochs. Although there are many different symbols, one of the most recognised one is the ‘Star of David’. However, there are also other ones which show the occupation of the deceased person – ‘hands held in benediction’ for instance shows the belonging to a priest family. Others symbolise the decedent’s name, e.g. a rose for the name ‘Rosa’ – or the broken tree for mortality.
The synagogue in Memmelsdorf
In the mid-17th century, the first Jews settled in the village. They were initially under the protection of a rich knightly family 1705 under the protection of the Prince Bishop Johann Philipp von Greiffenclau and his family. A few decades after the first settlements, the Jewish families formed a community that now has grown steadily and in 1810 with almost 250 members peaked; according matrikel to 34 Jewish families in Memmelsdorf were allowed to settle. The synagogue and a school, which was initially in the Schlossgasse, from 1896 in the Judengasse, in Memmelsdorf located in the municipality of Untermerzbach in the lower Franconian district Haßberge ( Bavaria) was built in 1728/29. Because of lower student numbers the Jewish school was closed in 1912. From May 1938 the Jewish community negotiated to sell the building. On November 10, 1938, the interior of the synagogue was burnt. The building has been preserved because of its proximity to other buildings. On August 10, 1939, the Jewish community sold the synagogue building to the local community of Memmelsdorf. The Torah shrine was the only remaining interior. After 1945 initially the building was empty and was used as a living - or storage space. In 1993 the carrier and Förderverein Synagogue Memmelsdorf ( Ufr . ) E.V. was founded. Two years later they could acquire the building. From 1998 until summer 2004 the building was renovated. Today it is a museum and a place for concerts and other events.
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