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NORDEN: 26506 Lower Saxony (Gerz)

Additional entry from old (jewishgen/org/cemetery) pages:

NORDEN: Ost (east) Friesland
Near the Netherlands. The Godenkins (see end for address) have been very instrumental in putting info together about the former Jewish community in Norden and in the formation of a group to work on Jewish matters in Norden. They have worked very hard and have become extremely knowledgeable. They know more about the former community than any of the surviving former members. The community was quite amazing in that although there were never more than 90 families, they had a very active Jewish life and, besides the synagogue, even had a home for the rabbi and for a Jewish teacher.

In 1988, in Norden, a monument was dedicated at the site of the former synagogue which was destroyed on Kristalnacht. In preparation for the visit, the cemetery was cleaned up and in doing so, some very old and previously unrecorded grave stones were uncovered. I assisted the Godekins and their group in putting together the wording in Hebrew and German of a memorial stone for the Jewish cemetery in Norden which will list the names of all the former Jews of Norden who were killed in the Shoah. Although difficult to translate and get the right meaning, the wording in English is approximately: "Father of Compassion, Who dwells on high, grant proper rest on the wings of the Divine Presence for the souls of those who were murdered through the hands of the German oppressors. May the Master of Mercy bind their souls in the Bond of Life together with the other righteous men and women in the Garden of Eden."

The cemetery in Norden is in quite good condition and there are graves dating back hundreds of years. The person to contact for info was Lina Godeken. [NOTE: Because both Mr. and Mrs. Godekin have passed away, anyone interested in more information about the former Jewish community of Norden and the cemetery will have to contact new people in the Arbeitsgruppe: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Nov 2011]

Jews who fled the inquisition in Portugal arrived in Emden (a port town). After a number of years, they were thrown out of Emden and most migrated to Amsterdam. This is the origin of the Amsterdam Jewish community. Others wandered into the country-side and formed communities that remained for approximately 400 years in places like Aurich, Wittmund, Norden, and Dornum. Although the Jewish community in Norden never numbered more than 100 families, it was organized enough to have its own synagogue, home for its rabbi as well as a home for its Jewish teacher. The origins of the community are (obviously) sephardic, but ashkenazim came into the community in the early to mid 1700s (probably after some pogrom) and it became a very mixed community thereafter. The community actually had a book published, "The Minchagim of Norden"! It was recently translated here in Israel into Hebrew. Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Monday, 07 November 2011 15:44
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