Jewish Cemetery in Ansbach

Pictures and text by Liana Tuliau

These pictures were taken on May 6, 2010. The Jewish Cemetery of Ansbach is located behind the church on Rügelandstrasse, was constructed in 1816 and expanded in 1896. This cemetery formerly hosted 561 gravestones, but fell victim to vandalism beginning in 1927 and continuing until 1950. A group of HJ members vandalized the site so severely in 1939 and again in 1950 so that only 117 of the original gravestones remain. A wall of sand-stone that surrounded the site was reconstructed in 1945 and placed in the care of the Israeli Parish.

The first photo is a plaque that hangs outside of the graveyard by the gates (which stay locked unless you ask for a key). "This graveyard is endorsed to be under the protection of the community. Any damages, disruptions and invective vandalism will be prosecuted."
The second photo shows the left section of the graveyard when first entering. The farthest gravestone on the left-hand side starts with 76 and descends/ascends almost arbitrarily. The smaller headstones are blank, acting as a placeholder for where there once was a grave. The vast field closest to the viewer is empty from where there were formerly headstones, but attempts at restoration were never made. A few remains of possible headstones are scattered near the edges, hidden under the tall grass and dirt. This shot was taken almost completely against the wall.
The third photo was close to the wall, but closer towards the entrance and at an angle to capture the remaining headstones. There is a large gap separating the two sides, at least 5m. Again, the numbering of the headstones doesn't completely follow the usual count. On the fart left side, the smallest black headstone is numbered as 382, but the last headstone on the far right (not in this shot) is numbered as 363.
This photo is the sign that is found against the far back of the cemetery, inbetween the two sides of gravestones. "Israeli Graveyard. Established in the 19th Century. Leveled to the ground during the time of the Nazi Reich, restored by the State Commissariat for R.R.P.V. (racial, religious and politically persecuted) with the help of the City Council of Ansbach in 1946. Again vandalized in 1948 and 1950." (At the bottom) "Let our dead rest in peace!"
This photo shows where a raised headstone had been, but, as seen, it no longer carries that burden.
This shows a raised headstone for comparison with the previous picture. It is unknown if the foliage was part of the original idea or not.
This photo shows the "last" headstone and its numbering, as it is seen in the back of many other headstones.
This photo shows the amount of space between some of the headstones, part of the empty field where others had once stood, and the only two graves to be fully inscribed in hebrew and imaged the same. The people who care for the key are Catholic and couldn't read the Hebrew, so the connection between the two graves is also unknown.

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