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HÉGENHEIM [Hegenheim, Hagana]: (arrondissement Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin département, Alsace région): 68220. PDF Print E-mail

Hégenheim, AlsatianHagena) is a commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in NE France adjacent to the Swiss town of Allschwil and part of the Basel urban area.47° 33′ 46″ N 07° 31′ 34″ E. (German: Hagana) Inhabitants are called Hégenheimois et Hégenheimoises.

1999 population was 2,576. The Roman period is marked by the presence of a crossroads from the Roman ways leading from Porrentruy to Augst and from Binningen to Rixheim. The village origin probably was a creation of the Franks since the name means "domain of Hagino" and a sixth to seventh century necropolis was discovered. The village was part of the Evêché of Basel. The bishops gave it in fief to vassals, among them Baerenfels, in 1482. Having belonged until 1692 to Baerenfels, the castle with a chapel deprived for the use of his owners, as rebuilt in 1737 by Aimable-Laurent of Barber. It is about the only building classified as Ancient Monuments in Hégenheim (1990). 1689 Census of Jews: 14 at Hegenheim. The 17th century is marked by the presence of a strong Jewish community near Basel where they are not tolerated. The synagogue was constructed in 1821, the asylum for oldsters Israelites opened in 1874. In 1838 there were 845 Israelites in Hégenheim. Hégenheim was an important community in the middle of the 19th century with 2151 inhabitants of whom 785 were Jewish. In June 1815, during the last seat of Huningue, the synagogue built by 1740 was ransacked and burned down. Rebuilt in 1821, it was restored in 1858. It will be disused after the First World War, and acts as workshop today. Hégenheim was a rabbinate until 1910. [January 2008]

  • BOOK: "Der juedische Friedhof in Hegenheim/Le Cimetiere Israelite de Hegenheim (Haut- Rhin)" ("The Jewish Cemetery in Preserving Home Le Ciemtiere Israelite de Hegenheim" (Haut Rhin) - authors: Gil Huettenmeister and Lea Rogwith a colored folding plan and an inventory of all Hebrew gravestone inscriptions with German translation on CD Rom. Bound. Published by Schwabe Verlag Basel (Switzerland) in 2004 in French. 144 pages. Included in the book is a CD ROM with the translation from Hebrew to German of all the inscriptions and a "map, where all the graves are located". ISBN 3-7965-1899-0. [January 2008]
  • BOOK: Listing of the gravestones of Hegenheim, 144 pages, list of names, death dates, position and pictures of the graves, color map of the cemetery, and a CDR can be obtained from Mrs Léa ROGG at 9 rue des Coteaux, 68220 Hégenheim, France for 24.00 euros plus postage. [January 2008]
  • BOOK: Der israelitische Friedhof in Hegenheim (The Jewish Cemetery in Hegenheim) by A. Nordman. Basel, 1910. 205 pages, illustrated, German. 32V2090. Notes: Statistics: 572 buried persons, 1729-1865, no names, cemetery history, Nordman family history and tombstone. Submitted by Mathilde A. Tagger from her book Printed Books on Jewish cemeteries in the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem: an Annotated Bibliography. Jerusalem: The Israel Genealogical Society, 1997.


  • BOOK: Der israelitische Friedhof in geschichtlicher Darstellung/ von Nordmann, Achilles Basel: Wackernagelsche Verlagsanstalt,1910. xvi, 205p. plates, tables. 24cm. Bibliographical footnotes. ID # GT 3249 H4 N6 Source: LBI also in Hebrew College Library in Brookline, MA

PHOTO Map of the Jewish graveyards of the Haut-Rhin, Extracted from the book The Jewish Graveyards in Alsace; E. Louis and G. Piv; © Ed. Les petites vagues 2001. from web site. photos [March 2009]


Le Cimetière de Hegenheim: 7,000 graves - en cours. Originally used the cemetery at La Chaux-deFonds/NE, Switzerland. TRANSLATION OF On January 9th, 1673, Achill de Baerenfels allowed the Jews to establish a graveyard on his lands that took a regional importance and contains about 8000 graves or 2850 graves. The selling price was 67 pounds 10 schillings. The taxes for funerals owed to the lord were fixed to 1 florin per adult, a half florin per teenager, a quarter of florin per child. Although the ground should have been sold in the only Jewry of Hégenheim, the burying ground soon became a régional place of burial, continuing until the beginning of the 1900s. Too small, in 1672 a neighboring ground was acquired. Such purchases were repeated in 1708, 1728, 1733, 1744, 1747, 1759, 1788, 1807, and even into the 1900s until the burying ground’s actual area was about two hectares. In 1692 representatives of the communities of Hégenheim, Allschwill and Blotzheim established statutes of an association for members to payment of certain taxes to be buried in Hégenheim, not as communities but as heads of the family. This year the association counts 24 members in Allschwill; 2 in Schoenenbuch; 6 in Oberwill; 13 in Hagenthal; 12 in Hégenheim; 10 in Blotzheim; 6 in Sierentz; 3 in Kembs; 1 in Uffheim, Huningue, Habsheim, Steinbrunn, Morschwiller and Dornach. A new list of members in 1730 included Hégenheim with 25 members ; Blotzheim 16, Buschwiller 13; the two Hagenthals 15 ; Sierentz et Uffheim 11, Kembs 7 ; Steinbrunn 6 ; Habsheim ; Leymen 2 ; Durmenach 3 ; and Oberdorf 2. The most ancient headstone is dated 1673, that of JACOB, son of Nathan LEVY. This slab of grey sandstone with the surface entirely covered by an inscription reads: "Here is buried and sheltered, Mister my Father. Torrents of tears cast frommy eyes. A pious man, during all his life he worked with fidelity; he tried hard to live according to commands. LEVY Jacob, son of Nathan. He had the reputation of a simple and honest man, according to his name. He was taken away from me on 23 Shevat, 443 … His soul enters the alliance of life, the garden of Paradise. Amen“.The registers of the burying ground note that in the course of the 18th century its reach continued stretching due to the fact that the establishment of new burying grounds was not allowed. Ater 1791 this changed, but under denominational burying grounds being considered to be an offense in equality, transport to Hégenheim of dead Jews in Durmenach, Hagenthal and Buschwiller was forbidden. Burying grounds of simply local importance were established in 1794 in Durmenach, Seppois-le-Bas, Hagenthal-le-Haut and le-Bas. Toward the middle of the 18th century, the number of entombments was the biggest, about 100 a year. After the Revolution, due to the ability to create new burying grounds, this number diminished to 36 on average for 1880-1900, and only a trickle now. To assure the administration of the burying ground, four officials, named for life, were chosen in 1692. These officials met every three months to prove the count very exactly. They could inflict penalties and refuse entombment to members who were not paid up. An employee indicated to whom certain taxes (besides those owed to the lord) must be paid. To fix these written statutes they had sent for a rabbi of Thann; the rule remained in force until the middle of the 19th century. Additionally, in 1693, a wooden pre-burial house was constructed; and in 1733 a fence put down around the cemetery. The pre-burial house burnt in 1717 and was replaced in 1730, then by another with more room in 1801. That consisted of a house, pre-burial house, barn, and stable. Relations with the lords of Hégenheim Berenfels and Barber appear in general to have been good; they do not mention serious conflict in any case. At the beginning of the 18th century, presents were made to the priest to allow funerals Sundays and Christian holidays. The officials were strict so their fellow believers preserved the right to be buried and paid all penalties inflicted. When one death of Buschwiller reached the burying ground in a state denoting the absence of care, the sons of the deceased were fined 250 pounds penalty which they paid. In June 1815, during the last seat of Huningue, the synagogue of Hégenheim burned down and looters stole a satchel with 612 francs belonging to the burying ground administration. In 1856 they decide to encircle the burying ground of a wall. In 1878 conflicts with the community of Basel begin. In 19th century the burying ground of Hégenheim took on a very particular importance for the Jewish communities of the Switzerland. That of Basel began forming in 1805 but really developed only after 1866, when the Jews had finally acquired equality of rights in Switzerland. All Jewish families of Basel were then members of the association of the burying ground of Hégenheim. From 1901 new statutes established in accordance with general regulations of the Consistory Israelite de la Haut-Rhin are adopted. During the last century this remained the place of burial of Jewry from Bâlois since only in 1903 did the Government of Basel allow the development of a Jewish burying ground in its territory. The community of Chaux-de-Fonds, officially named in 1843, is also a creation of native Hégenheim Jews. For the communities of Bern, Bienne and Avenches, the situation was similar. Besides these groupings were of a certain importance for numerous families. Besides these groupings of a certain importance, numerous unaffiliated Jewish families everywhere in Switzerland came to bury their dead in Hégenheim. Registers name the localities like Saint Immier, Porrentruy, Delemon, Seleure, Liestal, Locle, Neuchâtel, Yverdon, Langenthal, Sissach, and Gelterkinden. Transport of corpses to Hégenheim was not easy always. They understood that more important communities tried to acquire approval to create new burying grounds. These peaked in 1870 with Chaux-de-Fonds in 1871, Bienne in 1893, and finally Basel in 1903. The separation from Hégenheim was almost made always without difficulties except for Basel where it took place only after a serious conflict. Nowadays, the number of entombments per year is very small; it would be more still without the presence in Hégenheim of a Jewish Old Age Home created in 1874 that accommodates from 15 to 20 persons. The abandonment of this venerable place of burial is becoming more marked due to the fact that a section of the burying ground of Saint-Louis has been reserved for the Jewish inhabitants of the city. A very long time separates the headstone of Jacob, son of Nathan LEVY from our time, which saw the erection in the burying ground of Hégenheim of a memorial monument for 44 victims of modern barbarism. But those who rest in the closed field behind a wall between Lertzbach and the road to Hagenthal, that they were barely tolerated foreigners or equal citizens here in rights," they entered the alliance of life, the garden of Paradise." The Jews on this border corner community also buried Jews from Mulhouse, Belfort, Montbéliard, Vesoul, Luxueil, and numerous Swiss cities also, Jewry continued bringing their dead to Hégenheim after closer cemeteries had been established [January 2008]

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