The 9/10 November 2004


in Bamberg

Lord Mayor Herbert Lauer and Jewish Community president Heinrich Olmer were joined by numerous citizens at the Synagogue memorial in remembrance of the days of terror on 9./10. November 1938.

The remembrance date coincided with the last event of the Bamberg Intercultural Weeks of 2004 and gave Lord Mayor Lauer and President Olmer the opportunity to plead once again for humanity and tolerance and a stand against violence, fanaticism and terrorism.

Olmer drew particular attention to the frightening implication of the success of the extreme right parties in the recent elections in Saxony.

As an example of activities in the right direction in Bamberg in recent years, Lauer cited the establishment by the University of a Center for Inter-Religious Studies. Lauer also mentioned the new Bamberg Synagogue, which it was possible to fund by much common endeavour.

The memorial meeting was followed by multi-faith prayers at St. Martin’s Church.

(Reported in the Fränkischer Tag of 10.11.2004 and in the Rathaus Journal Nr. 24, of 19.11.2004,

Perhaps I should also point to and praise the sensitivity of the local editor of the Fränkischer Tag, who chose the edition of the 9 November (!) to discuss the progress of the building and the probable date for the dedication of the new Community centre with Synagogue, including a good photo of the frontage of the project. It was in fact the first time I saw it myself.


in Altenkunstadt/Burgkunstadt

The remembrance arranged by the Interessengruppe Synagoge Altenkunstadt was this year in the form of a two hour conducted tour through “Jewish” Burgkunstadt on 7 November, with a memorial meeting on the site of the former Burgkunstadt Synagogue. The Mayors of Burgkunstadt and Altenkunstadt were present, the former gave a speech. At the end of the event, Josef Motschmann read out the names of the Burgkunstadt and Altenkunstadt victims of the Holocaust.

The remembrance meeting at the Burgkunstadt cemetery took place on 5 October this year. Ca. 50 people participated, including the Mayors of Altenkunstadt, Burgkunstadt and Lichtenfels. The address was given by the Mayor of Marktzeuln.


in Burg Feuerstein

After quoting a moving poem by the 18 year old Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger, expressing in a few words the suffering of the Jewish population during the Nazis War before she died of a Typhus infection in the labour camp Michailowka in 1942, the reporter of the meeting wrote: lyric writing is one of the possible forms of coming to terms with the Holocaust.

This year, as every previous year since 1993, the meeting was again under the motto “Dangerous Memories”. Apart from an ecumenical service, a Klezmer concert with the Nuremberg singer Steffi Zachmeier formed part of the program.

Steffi had spent many years in trying to understand Jewish music. This did not only include songs and other compositions, but the whole Jewish context. That is why Steffi studied Literature and Lyrics written by Jewish women.

In her concert at Burg Feuerstein, she read works by women writers: Ruth Gay, Salcia Landsmann, Lea Rudnitzki, Marianne Cohn, Gerda Hoffer and the Selma Meerbaum mentioned above, all of which provided her with material for reflection.

Stephan Alexander, the priest responsible for the spiritual welfare of young people at the Feuerstein, recited the appalling facts of the events on 9./10. November 1938 in Germany. He admonished the audience not to forget, not to look away, not to play down and not to be inactive. He reminded them of the violation of human rights which were daily occurrences in many countries of the world.

Rudolf Schmidt, Protestant pastor from Ebermannstadt, pleaded with people to keep their eyes and ears open in order to recognise injustices when they occur and to be able to intervene.

Chriss Fiebig, who had died only a few days earlier, was remembered by a minute’s silence. She had been a guest at the 9./10. November 1938 remembrance meetings at Burg Feuerstein from the beginning, where she represented the Jewish part of the ökumene.

(Reported in the Heinrichsblatt, Bamberg, Nr. 47. 21 November 2004).

In fact, Chriss had not just been a guest - she had taken a major part in the services.


in Ebelsbach

The Churches and the political community remembered the victims of the 9./10. November 1938, as well as the victims of violence and persecution all over the world.

The citizens of Ebelsbach were not deterred by the bad weather from participating in the remembrance hour at the Memorial stone for the Jews of the village. A group of brass musicians provided the musical accompaniment

Mayor Ziegler rehearsed the events of the 9./10. November 1938 and the subsequent murder of the Jews, including the few remaining in Ebelsbach. Citing the Bible, Mayor Ziegler said The Secret of Reconciliation is Remembrance.

Anneliese Lotz read out the names of the last Jews of Ebelsbach who were able to save themselves and the countries where they found refuge.

Father Ottmar Pottler talked about the Mesusa as containing an important aspect of Jewish life, and Father Thilo Auers reviewed the rebuilding of Jewish life in Bavaria, as evidenced by the construction of new Synagogues in Würzburg and Bamberg.

(Reported in the Fränklischer Tag of 11.11. 2004).


in Ermreuth

In remembrance of the Night of Terror of 9 November 1938 and the murdered victims of the Nazis, the Jewish Museum Ermreuth offered a conducted tour of the Jewish cemetery Ermreuth on Tuesday 9 November 2004 at 14.30.

Comments on Jewish history and the culture of rural communities were intended to be made during the walk to the cemetery. Gentlemen were requested to bring head coverings with them.

Because of the bad weather, the talk about Jewish history was held in the Synagogue rather than on the way to the cemetery.

(Communicated by Dr. Rajaa Nadler)


in Forchheim

As every year, representatives of the city administration placed flowers on the Synagogue Memorial in Wiesentstreet in remembrance of the destruction of the Synagogue, the suffering of the Jews on 9./10. November 1938 and the deportation of the last Forchheim Jews to the death camps (reported by Rolf Kiessling).

Prof. emeritus Ludwig Bauer, who lives in Las Vegas, NV, USA, a Forchheimborn Jewish former citizen, recorded his memories of these dreadful days and made them available on the internet. They make sombre reading.

(Communicated by Mr. Rolf Kiessling)


in Kronach

The Aktionskreis Synagoge Kronach arranged a Remembrance Meeting at 7 p.m. in the Synagogue, with the participation of the composer Werner Thielmann from Neuhaus-Schiernitz.

(Communicated by Mr. W. Zaich)


in Lichtenfels

At the invitation of the Catholic and Protestant Churches, about 60 Lichtenfels citizens, equipped with candles, tealights and lanterns, met at the Market Square, in spite of snow flurries and low temperatures. Let us remember, said Dean Grünwald, that dreadful things happened in our country that night.

Those present sang together, and listened to the texts and ideas which the representatives of both Churches had selected.

Reiner Babucke read extracts from the memoirs of the Lichtenfelsborn Jewish Prof. Walter Kohn of his experiences on 9 November 1938. In view of the results of the last district elections, said Babucke, we want to prevent that anything like the Night of Terror will ever happen again, even if we have to touch a sore point in our history.

Pastor Zettler followed a confession of guilt with the exhortation that peace begins with good personal relations with one another.

(Reported by the Obermain Tagblatt of 10.11.2004)


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