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MASSBACH PDF Print E-mail
97711 Bavaria near Bad Kissingen, Lower Frankonia, County of Rho(oe)n/Grabfeld (Gerz)

Small cemetery with 41 tombstones. Entrance via steps difficult to spot. Source: Steinerne Zeugnisse juedischen Lebens in Bayern; eine Dokumentation, 2nd ed. by Israel Schwierz. Muenchen: Bayerische Landes- zentrale fuer politische Bildungsarbeit 1992, ISBN 3-87052-398-0, 368 pp. [1st ed. 1988, ISBN 3-87052-393-X, 352 pp.].

UPDATE: Christof Eberstadt, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it has donated the list of all 38 burials to the JOWR.

The town is located about 10 km north of Kitzingen. Current town population is about 2000 with no Jews. The Ju(ue)discher Friedhof Massbach cemetery at Street Obere FriedhofsStrasse, Massbach was not destroyed in Holocaust. Cemetery Hours: open round the clock. Mrs. Heim, Massbach is the caretaker with the key.

The Jewish community dates from at least the 17th century. Cemetery dates from about 1900. Massbach and Poppenlauer used this unlandmarked Conservative and Reform cemetery. The last burial was 1945, Felix Heidelberger. No mass graves.

The isolated suburban hillside has a (rusted) sign inside the cemetery fence, which prohibits disturbance acts and destruction, announcing legal persecution in doing so. The cemetery is reached by turning directly off a public road: Main Street in Massbach "PoppenlauerStrasse", turn to the south in "Bad Kissingen" direction, next crossing to the right (place of church and catholic cemetery); take next road left hand ("Obere Friedhoftrasse"); after about. 300 m take the unpaved path left hand. After 20, m you see a wooden door to the left in a fence. Access to the 400 square meter cemetery is open with permission of Mrs. Heim. A continuous fence with a locking gate and a hedge/row of trees surround the cemetery.

The oldest known gravestone dates from 1904. Tombstones in the cemetery date from 1904-1945. 38 gravestones are in cemetery, all in original location. Some are broken and repaired. Broken glass plates can be seen. The granite, limestone, and sandstone finely smoothed and inscribed stones and double tombstones, some with iron decorations or lettering or bronze decorations or lettering other than metallic elements, have German inscriptions. The cemetery contains no special memorial monuments. The present owner of the cemetery property is probably the State of Bavaria. The cemetery property is now used for a cultural site (only remaining memorial of Jewish history in Massbach). Frequently, probably organized Jewish groups/tours or organized individual tours, but definitely private visitors stop at the site. The cemetery was vandalized during Third Reich. Past maintenance includes re-erecting stones, patching broken stones, and clearing vegetation, possibly by US Military authorities after the end of WWII and local or municipal authorities, and regional or national authorities.

Current Care is occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals or cleaning by authorities and the regular unpaid caretaker. Within the limits of the cemetery are no structures. Vandalism and security (at night) are moderate threats. Weather erosion is a serious threat. The vegetation overgrowths in the cemetery and water drainage at the cemetery are not problems.

Christof Eberstadt, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it completed this form on 16 August 2003 using the following documentation: Israel Schwierz: Steinerne Zeugnisse des ju(ue)dischen Lebens in Bayern, 1992. Other documentation exists but was inaccessible. He visited the site on 4 August 2003 and took the photos below.

Update 15 Dec 2009:

This note received today from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , of Homer, Alaska:

"While visiting my wifes home town of Massbach in Unter Franken in May 2009 we visited the old Jewish Cemet[e]ry.  
We found the gate unlocked but closed. There were no signs of va[n]dalism but the weeds and trees seemed to be
invading the area. Our 0600am visit was rapidly reported throughout the town via the gossip network,
so it appears that the townsfolk of Massbach have an interest in keeping the cemet[e]ry safe from vandals."

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 December 2009 06:09
 
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