KOENIGSHOFFEN: (Bas-Rhin département, Alsace région) Print

St. Gallen was the alternate name.

A suburb of Strasbourg dating from Roman times, from the beginning of the 8th century, duke Adalbert of Alsace, brother of Saint Odile and founder of the Abbey Saint-Étienne built a royal villa there that was named Koenigshoffen (entire suburbs with farms). It was built along a Roman way linking Argentoratum (Strasbourg) with Tres Tabernae (Saverne), today called Road of the Roman (Roemerschtross). In 19th century "dynasties" of brewers established themselves there: Schneider, Freysz, Gruber, etc that continued until the end of the 20th century. At this beginning of the 21th century, Koenigshoffen continued expanding, notably by means of constructing the "quarter of the potteries" that is in the junction with the quarters of Koenigshoffen and Hautepierre. [January 2008]

Ancient burial ground: The very first burying ground existed in the Middle Ages, by 1200. Destroyed after massacres that followed the epidemic of Black Plague in which Jews were accused of having poisoned wells. Some relics were found of rue de Juifs, towards the site of the Prefecture, Place de la Republic, towards big post office. Some gravestones were found and are mostly kept in the Museum of Work Notre-Dame. A wooden grave marker also was found and deposited in the Jewish Museum of Basel. Towards the middle 18th century, Jews were forbidden to reside in the big cities. There was an exception in 1768 for Hart Berr, his family, his employees and his servants, because he was purveyor of horses and provender of the armies of the King. In 1791 when the National Assembly granted the equal rights to Jews, they could again become established in Strasbourg. The community developed fast, by 1800 numbering about one thousand persons and ten years later, 1500 both original residents and also others from Haut-Rhin. The need to acquire a proper burial ground was felt. This was the second Jewish burying ground of Strasbourg and was progressively enlarged. On the eve of WWI, about four thousand graves were found there. [January 2008]

The first cemetery dates from the Middle Ages. The Jewish community of Strasbourg around 1800 had approximately 1,000 members and ten years later 1,500. In 1801, a larger plot of land was purchased here to create a graveyard . By 1910, the cemetery with about 4,000 graves was almost full. A new cemetery in Cronenbourg/Strasbourg was created in 1911. Most burials here stopped. First, the cemetery was surrounded by a wooden fence, which was always defective until he was replaced in 1960 by a wire fence. Maintenance of the cemetery was by rabbit breeders in the neighborhood that got fresh grass and hay from the cemetery. The cemetery was destroyed in 1945 when about 1,000 gravestones were overturned and partly broken. Rabbit breeding in the area of the cemetery ceased in 1950 after an epidemic among area rabbits. Location was Rue de la Tour. photos. [October 2013]

Cemetery until 1911: Cramped, this necropolis was replaced in 1911 with the burying ground functioning today in Cronenbourg. By 1935, this burying ground had been put in the control of neighbors, who raised rabbits and used the cool grass and hay. This situation allowed free maintenance and contented all. During WWII, the rabbit breeders increased, dividing the grass and avoiding vandalism during 1939-1945. The neighbors say that no funeral monument was overturned, except for removal of bronze and metals when, in 1943, a scrap dealer on Arbor Street took away the heavy bronze plate of one tomb. During WWII, the caretaker apartment to the right of the entrance near Tower Street was occupied by Polish prisoners. When they left in 1944, the home was recovered by the community, which installed the Weyl family in it. Currently, the Jung family lives in it in exchange for a little maintenance of the burying ground. At the beginning of 1950, an epidemic of myxomatoses decimated the rabbits and ended the practice. Isolated small neighboring communities used this burying ground as recorded in registers, but also as it appear on tombs. The Koenigshoffen cemetery was encircled by a wooden fence along Muhlbruche Street until 1960 when it was replaced with the wire netting still in use, because wooden laths had seriously degraded over time. The Jewish community of Strasbourg and the City of Strasbourg are in charge of maintenance. Ann Read Weiler, chairwoman of honor of C.I.S, worked tirelessly to put in the cemetery in order. In 1998, this necropolis was invaded by wild vegetation, drowned in a true forest of trees and bushes. With Samy Djalo, Henri Hochner, and A-L. Weiler, cleaned and indexed the cemetery. 2001 was the bicentenary of the cemetery, which by its numerous memorial markers, recalled Alsatian Judaism of the 19th and 20th centuries. [January 2008]

Le cimetière israélite de Koenigshoffen: photos and cemetery information only in French. The landmarked site on December 23rd, 2002 became the property of the Jewish community of Strasbourg and landmarked by the Régional Commission of Heritage and Sites of Alsace united on November 19th, 2002. This cemetery serves Strasbourg areas, the first modern Jewish cemetery of the city. [January 2008]

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 18:27