|SCHWENHEIM: (Bas-Rhin département, Alsace région)|
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Also see SAVERNE
The village of Schwenheim, 5 km from Saverne, had a Jewish community since the 17th century that counted thirty-three families, totaling 152 persons in the middle of the 19th century. The last Jew left Schwenheim in 1913. Today, only few traces remain of this Jewish presence. The synagogue became first a grocery and then a private home, but the lintel of the front-door, carrying traditional verse of Psalm 118 as well as another stone in a window of the first floor.
Le cimetière de Schwenheim: The Jewry of Schwenheim was first buried in the burying ground of Saverne, but by 1730 they acquired a ground located near the road to Furchhausen to be used for burial. After the redemption of the community, the burying ground was no longer maintained and fast was overcome by vegetation including wild trees, undergrowth and brambles. It became practically inaccessible and unrecognizable. In 1998, Gérard Schalck, mayor of Schwenheim, decided on his own to put right this state of things. In November 1998, he undertook repair of the burying ground with a dozen volunteers. The ground was entirely cleared of undergrowth, a small log bridge was constructed above the drainage trench that crosses the ground, and headstones were straightened and cleaned with the help of the firm of funeral monuments: Metz-Meyer of Saverne. Today, the burying ground of Schwenheim again, thanks to the efficient action of a man of heart, is a place of memory and though, in memory of the Jews who lived in the village and contributed too in building Alsace. http://judaisme.sdv.fr/synagog/basrhin/r-z/schwenh.htm has a photo and text in French. [January 2008]