Worms is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate on the Rhine River. 2004 population: 85,829. Alternate medieval name: Varmayza or Vermaysa (ורמיזא, ורמישא), The Jewish community established in the late 10th century had its first synagogue erected in 1034. In 1096, 800 Jews were murdered by crusaders and local mob. The Jewish Cemetery in Worms, dating from the 11th century, is believed to be the oldest surviving in situ in Europe. The Rashi Synagogue (1175) carefully reconstructed after its desecration on Kristallnacht, is the oldest in Germany. Prominent students, rabbis and scholars of Worms include Shlomo Yitzhaki (Rashi). Rabbi Gershom ben Judah (Rabbeinu Gershom) explicitly prohibited polygamy for the first time. For hundreds of uninterrupted years the Jewish Ghetto was the center of Jewish life until Kristallnacht in 1938, when much was destroyed. Worms today has a very small Jewish population and no recognizable Jewish community exists. However, renovations in the 1970s and 1980s of many buildings of the Ghetto can be seen in a close-to-original state, preserved as an outdoor museum. In 2010 the synagogue was fire bombed. Eight corners of the building were set ablaze, and a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a window. However Kurt Beck, Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate, condemned the attack. Wikipedia. [August 2010]
Wikipedia. [August 2012] The Jewish Cemetery in Worms or Heiliger Sand is called the oldest surviving Jewish cemetery in Europe except for the Jewish sections of the Roman catacombs. The oldest tombstone still legible (for Yaakov habahur) dates from 1076/77. The cemetery was closed in 1911 when a new cemetery was consecrated. Some family burials continued until the late 1930s. The older part contains about 1300 tombstones. The newer part (on the wall of the former city fortifications and acquired after 1689, has more than 1200. The cemetery is protected and cared for by the city of Worms, the Jewish community of Mainz-Worms, and the Landesdenkmalamt of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is being documented and researched since 2005 by the Salomon L. Steinheim-Institute for German-Jewish History at the University of Duisburg-Essen. All its medieval inscriptions will be available online in late 2012. [August 2010]
Jewish cemetery: tombstone images online. A fee charged. [April 2010]
Der heilige Sand (old cemetery used until 1911) Old Cemetery at Andreasring; over 1000 in the old part: 12 from 11th c.and almost 50 from 12th c.; ca. 1000 in the new part (18th-20thc.); oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe with graves of many famous rabbis; used ca.1077-1911. During World War II, bombs damaged some of the oldest gravestones; many could be restored. WORMS: ALTE JUDENFRIEDHOF DER HEILIGEN SAND
Ot. Herrnsheim Im Saugrund.
Ot: Hochheim. Old Cemetery: The cemetery is located just beyond the southwest corner of the city wall. Inside the iron gate is an expansive tree-shaded area with row after row of tombstones in all shapes and sizes. The Nazis did not touch these. Source: Washington Jewish Week, July 20,1 1998, page 27.
New Cemetery: at Hochheimer Hoehe; used from 1911-on. No war damage. Eckenberstr. 112.
BOOK: Der Alte Judenfriedhof zu Worms, ein fuehrer durch seine Geschichte und Grabmaeler, by Otto Bocher. 6th ed. Neuss: Neusser Druckerei und Verlag 1987 (Rheinische Kunststaetten 148),ISBN 3-88094-470-9, 12 pp. [5th ed. 1984; brief history of cemetery, names on the twelve oldest gravestones, graves of 16 prominent Jews with some biographical data, diagram showing locations of these graves; (PN6297.H4 B64x) Source: DIE DEUTSCHE NATIONAL BIBLIOGRAPHIE and at Leo Baeck Institute, ID # GT 3250 W66 B6.
BOOK: Der alte israelitische Friedhof zu Worms a. Rh.: zwoelf Kunst- blaetter mit Vorwort von Max Levy, by Christian Herbst. Worms: Verlag von C. Herbst, (1913) Jewish epitaphs. Smathers, Judaica DS135.G4 W6428 and at Leo Baeck Institute ID # q GT 3250 W66 A4.
BOOK: Nafschoth zaddiqim; sechzig Epitaphien von Grabsteinen des israelitischen Friedhofes zu Worms by Ludwig Lewysohn. Frankfurt/M.:1855.
BOOK: Epitaphien von Grabsteinen der israelitischen Friedhofes zu Worms [Epitaphs from the Tombstones of the Jewish Cemetery at Worms] by Dr. L. Lewysohn, Frankfurt am Main, 1855. About 100 inscriptions between 905 and 1852. Some of the families represented are Bacharach, Rothschild, Oppenheim, Auerbach, and Lewysohn. Source: Werner Hirsch;
(He has the book.)
BOOK: Ein juedischer Grabstein aus vorchristlicher Zeit in Worms? Sechs neugefundene Grabsteine vom Wormser "Judensand" von Otto Boecher (1935-) Worms: 1957. 412-415 p. illus. 30 cm. Detached from Der Wormsgau, v. 3, no. 6. ID # q GT 3250 W66 B63 Source: Leo Baeck Institute.
BOOK: Le Cimetiere de Worms von Grunwald, Max, 1871-1953 Paris: 1938. -111 p. 26 cm. Offprint of Revue des etudes juives; n. s., t. IV (CIV) no. 1-2, juillet-decembre 1938. ID # GT 3250 W66 G78 Source: Leo Baeck Institute.
BOOK: Der Grabstein des R. Jakob B. Mose Ha-Levi (Maharil) in Worms Breslau: Monatsschrift, 1898. Kaufmann, David, 1852-1899 223-229 p. 22cm. (In Monatsschrift fuer Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, vol. 42) 1. Jacob ben Moses, ha'Levi Moelln, 1365 (ca.)-1427. 2. Cemeteries--Worms. ID # BM 755 J22 K3 Source: Leo Baeck Institute.
BOOK: Die Grabsteine R. Meir's Von Rothenburg und Alexander Wimpfen's in Worms, Kaufmann, David, 1852-1899; Breslau: Monatsschrift, 1896. 126-130 p. 21cm. (In Monatsschrift fuer Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, vol. 40) 1. Meir ben Baruch, of Rothenburg, d. 1293. 2. Wimpfen, Alexander, fl. 13th century. 3. Cemeteries--Worms. ID # BM 755 M45 K3 Source: Leo Baeck Institute.
BOOK: Zur Geschichte der Wormser juedischen Gemeinde, Ihrer Friedhoefe und ihres Begraebniswesens. Gedenkschrift zur Eroeffnung des neuen Friedhofs Levy, Max, Rothschild, Samson, Metzler, G; Worms: H. Kraeuter, 1911. 52p. 6 plates. 23cm. Bibliographical footnotes. ID # GT 3250 W66 Z8 Source: Leo Baeck Institute.
BOOK: Der Judenfriedhof in Worms; Impressionen, Gedanken, Bilder, Steinzeichen / Gedichte von Klaus F. Schmidt-Macon; mit Fotografien von Guenther Sydow. Heppenheim: Verlag Druckerei Otto KG, 1982. 67 p. col. illus. 20 cm. ID # GT 3250 W66 S35 Source: Leo Baeck Institute
BOOK: Der Wormser alte Judenfriedhof von Wilhelm Weler, Worms am Rhein: 1971. 31-32p. 30cm. Detached from 'Der Wormsgau', vol. 9. ID # q GT 3250 W66 W45 Source: Leo Baeck Institute
BOOK: The oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe (and the oldest synagogue) are found here. Source: World Guide for the Jewish Traveler by Warren Freedman, E.P. Dutton Inc, NY 1984. Extracted by Bernard Kouchel, JGS Broward Co., FL.
BOOK: Article: copies of documents; photos of synagogues and cemetery; Addenda: Photographs of Jewish cemetery (1995); Addenda: Article about the Jewish cemetery of Worms, the oldest in Europe (FAZ, 7/10/95); in German, English, Hebrew; Donors: Max Gruenewald and others; locaton at Leo Baeck Institute : Worms; Jewish community collection; Storage-Location: A 11/7, 2nd floor left microfilm cabinet; Accession Number(s): AR 145, AR 7111, MF 328 (5).
1st Photo courtesy Helen Lansing [June 2015]; 2nd photo from Facebook [August 2015]