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HORBOURG-WIHR: (Colmar arrondissement, Haut-Rhin département, Alsace région and HORBOURG-WIHR: 68000 PDF Print E-mail


48° 04′ 48″ N 07° 23′ 43″ E. The 1999 population was 5,060. This village located close to Colmar is, according to most scholars, is the ancient site of Gallo-Roman Argentovaria (which the name relates to a marsh) and then a vast seigniory of the dukedom of Wurtemberg. On the January 1st, 1973, Horbourg and Wihr-en-Plaine merged to form Horbourg-Wihr. The population increase is due to its proximity to Colmar. In the Roman epoch, this city began; it became the county seat of the county of this name later. In 1324, the counts of Horbourg (Walther IV and Burkhard II) sold their belongings in Alsace to Ulrich X, count of Wurtemberg. In year 1391, the Duke of Wurtemberg, Eberhard-le-Jeune, obtained the county of Montbéliard with lands that his wife Henriette brought him as a dowry. From that day, the city of Montbéliard became the county seat of the lands the German duke had in Alsace and in Frank County; and from this city left orders addressed to the inhabitants of Horbourg and Riquewihr. In 16th century, the Protestant Reformation was introduced into the States of Wurtemberg. The Alsatian villages embraced doctrines first of Zwingli, then those of Luther. The only place in the county of Horbourg where permission to live was granted to Jews in Middle Ages seems to have been in Riquewihr. This village, appointed with its especially nice vineyards, is named in lists of famous places for persecution of Jews in the 14th century. It seems that they returned there soon after, but in 1420 were expelled without knowing the lord, the inhabitants, orany reason. Then, later they were slaughtered. No Jews lived there in the Middle Ages. Only in 1 January 1723 did Duke Leopold Eberhard say, at the unassuming plea of Jewish Paul Filgert who "definitely wanted to accept with his wife, his children, and servants his protection for as long as he will act well and as long as the others will marry". That allowed to him to establish his domicile in Horbourg and to live "faithfully and with the best intentions". Conditions imposed on this Jew were the annual 10-florin payment and one fatted goose, the promise to obey the prescriptions of the duke, and to buy no home and property without special permission. He could lodge none of his relatives with him without approval, except his father and his mother, if they were poor, old and without means. Duke Leopold Eberhard died that same year (1723). The succession was difficult with several unmarried sons. The Treasurer of Alsace was named manager of both Alsatian lands (Horbourg and Riquewihr) with power to decide all administrative questions that would be raised there. In his turn, he chose as commissioner, a Mr Nithard, adviser to the king. This change of government nearly was fatal to the Jewry of Horbourg. The family of Paul Bickart (Filgert) was composed of several members. Apparently, the adviser to Nithard, a certain Dietermann, probably burgomaster of Horbourg, and the peasants complained to the Field marshal, Treasurer of Alsace, about the presence of Jews, seeking their expulsion. But Princess Ann intervened courageously in their favor: she wrote to her business manager in Strasbourg on March 22nd, 1725: " We order that Jews stay here and that nobody orders the peasants in the jurisdiction of our rights, either Dielermann, or Nithard, or the King does not do that or he must return us the wheat and the wine that he stole from us thirty years ago". This order given by the French government, as correspondence and finally by the representative of the princess, revoked the expulsion of the Jews of Horbourg. Afterwards their number increased in 1725 until 1729 to four Jewish families in Horbourg paying each for the same rights. From 1729 to 1748 there were only two, and in 1737 only one, the other one having left for Herrlisbeim. In 1730, new complaints against Jews arose; and an order was given to leave Horbourg without delay. Both heads of the family, Raphael Jacob (Raphael son of Jacob, undoubtedly identical to Paul Bickart) and Jacob Bolach, pled with the Field Marshal of the Market town "to allow them to reside in the said place and to be tolerated there, as well as other Jews of the province". They say that living in Horbourg for sixteen years with no problems with anybody to that time, there should be no complaint against them. The political situation of the county was regulated by the Treaty of May 10th, 1748 between Louis XV and Charles-Eugène, Duke of Wurtemberg (elder branch). This accepted the Alsatian lands. (More history and information is available in French at In the course of the 19th century, the Jewish community of Horbourg increased considerably, but since the Franco-Prussian War, it shared the fate of almost all communities of the Alsatian villages: there was a strong population decrease due to emigration and urbanization. Thus, 299 Jews in 1875 in Horbourg decreased in 1890 to 244. In 1895 only 206 remained; and so the population steadily decreased. [January 2008]

      • Le Cimetière: For burial, the Jews of Horbourg also used the burying ground of Jungholtz, among others. In the oldest register in the archives for this locality, begun in 1719, under the rubric Horbourg are names of the following persons having acquired the right of possession: [Hebrew names listed]. During the 1900s, the community of Horbourg combined with that of Wintzenheim to create a burying ground in Wintzenheim, and later buried its dead in Colmar. In this cemetery, 248 names in the new section of burials after 1906; and the old section burials are from 1872 to 1906. The numbers on the maps show locations of the burials. Names and maps source: Michelene Guttman e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Also see Jungholz: 6 persons 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. [January 2008]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2009 15:13
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