The Old Jewish Cemetery, Battonnstrasse, Frankfurt

The Old Jewish Cemetery, Battonnstrasse, Frankfurt

Battonnstrasse cemetery in Frankfurt is the second oldest Jewish burial sight in Germany; the first documented mention of it goes back to 1180. Throughout history, the size of the cemetery hasn't practically changed. The oldest surviving tombstone at Battonnstrasse is dated July 12, 1272, whereas many Frankfurt Jews – victims of the pogrom, known as the “Frankfurter Judenschlacht” – had found their final resting place here as early as 1241. The very last burial at the cemetery took place on September 16, 1828, after which it had to be closed, being overcrowded with nearly 6,500 graves.

Under the Nazi regime, in 1942, 4,666 gravestones were demolished and piled up as rubble for removal. Some of these stone heaps can still be seen today. 175 gravestones were removed, but not crushed, and ended up in the newer Jewish cemetery on Rat-Beil-Strasse. In the 1950s, they were returned, but because there was no information on their original location, they could only be placed along the cemetery wall.

The gravestones of important religious and secular personalities, such as Nathan ben Simeon ha-Kohen Adler, the Frankfurt chief rabbi Jakob Jehoschua Falk, Pinchas Ben Zwi Hirsch Ha-Levi or Meir ben Rabbi Yaakov Schiff, have been grouped together in a place of honor. The grave of Meir Anschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild banking house, is one of the most famous grave sites on the grounds.

The Battonnstrasse cemetery is permanently closed; those who wish to visit (except on Jewish holidays, Mondays and Saturdays), may obtain the key at the neighboring Museum Judengasse. For that, a deposit of a valid ID must be placed. Guided tours are offered every second Sunday, and can be booked by phone at the museum. Entrance to the cemetery is via gate on Battonnstrasse. Men are requested to wear a head cover (e.g. Kippa, which can be borrowed from the museum).
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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The Old Jewish Cemetery, Battonnstrasse on Map

Sight Name: The Old Jewish Cemetery, Battonnstrasse
Sight Location: Frankfurt, Germany (See walking tours in Frankfurt)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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