Worms, Germany

Jewish Cemetery in Worms

The oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe survived Hitler's Germany. 

Besides Jewish burials in Roman catacombs, the Jewish Cemetery in Worms has the oldest Jewish graves in Europe, and is the amazing survivor of the brutality of Hitler’s Third Reich.

The earliest graves in the Jewish Cemetery in Worms date back to the late 11th century. Although the actual founding date of the cemetery is unknown, the oldest graves in the cemetery have inscriptions from 1076. During the medieval period, the Jewish community of Worms thrived and was home to many intellectual leaders including Rabbi Meir von Rothenburg, who is buried on the land.

Over the years, the cemetery gradually filled up, and by the early 20th century, the cemetery was so full that only the most well-off in the community could afford to be buried there. Although it had fallen into disuse, the last burial was done in 1940, in the midst of the Holocaust. Amazingly, the cemetery remained standing through the war and is a lasting reminder of the Jewish community of Worms.

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