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The oldest Jewish gravestones were discovered in 1955 while restoring the citadel in Spandau (one of Berlin’s districts). They date between 1244 and 1474. Altogether 65 stones were found. They probably stem from several cemeteries.
They can be seen by appointment only: 030/354944-212 (gatekeeper) or 030/354944-297 (administration).
Citadel Spandau (Zitadelle Spandau), Am Juliusturm, U 7 Zitadelle Spandau
Jewish Cemetery Grosse Hamburger Strasse
A year after the first Jewish families arrived from Vienna, the first Jewish cemetery was consecrated here in 1672. This site was used for burials until 1827. Supposedly 12,000 people were buried here. In 1943 the cemetery was desecrated and destroyed by the Nazis on the order of the Gestapo. Today at this site you see only a small park. A memorial stone commemorates Moses Mendelssohn, the great scholar and forerunner of the enlightenment.
Grosse Hamburger Strasse 26, U 8 to Weinmeisterstrasse, various S-Bahn and streetcar lines to Hackescher Markt
Jewish Cemetery Schoenhauser Allee
This second Jewish cemetery was consecrated in 1827. 22,000 graves can be found on an area of 12.355 acres. In 1880 it was officially closed, yet well into the 20th Century there were burials such as that of the painter Max Liebermann in 1935. His restored honorary grave can be found in the back part of the cemetery.
During the Nazi era, the cemetery was badly damaged. All decorative elements made out of metal were stolen. In 1945 many gravestones were removed und were misused to build barriers against tanks in the surrounding streets. Many important persons found their last resting place here, such as the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer, the publishers Albert Mosse and Leopold Ullstein, the scholars Abraham Geiger and Leopold Zunz, the bankers Gerson Bleichröder and Joseph Mendelssohn.
Lapidarium (= a collection of stone works, in this case of gravestones)
The lapidarium, which has been built on the fundaments of the mourning hall, displays more then 60 restored gravestones from the 19th and early 20th Centuries taken from various Jewish cemeteries in Berlin. Numerous information panels explain the gravestones. The lapidarium is open to the public during the opening hours of the cemetery.
Judengang (= Jew’s path)
The restored “Judengang” goes from the rear cemetery wall between Metzer Straße (street) and Kollwitzstraße. According to legend, the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III was annoyed by the funeral processions along the route he took to Schloß (Palace) Niederschönhausen. Therefore the “Judengang” was created out of sight of the Schönhauser Allee, thus allowing entrance to the cemetery from the rear. The path can be seen through a metal gate into which a Star of David is embossed and can only be used by the public at certain times, usually on the “Tag des offenen Denkmals” (Day of the open monuments), the second Sunday in September.
Those documents which still exist for the Jewish cemetery in the Schönhauser Allee are kept in Weissensee. In case you need information from them, please contact the administration of the Jewish cemetery in Weissensee at 925-3330
Schönhauser Allee 23-25, Tel.: 441-9824; U 2 to Senefelder Platz, M 2 to Metzer Strasse
Mo-Thu 8 am -4 pm , Fri 8 am – 1 pm; closed on Saturday, Sunday and on Jewish holidays
Jewish Cemetery Weissensee
This is the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe. It covers an area of 98.84 acres, has 115,000 graves and was consecrated in 1880. Almost one third of all German Jews lived before the Shoah in Berlin.
The main and some of the secondary paths have trees planted on them that make them look like an avenue. Many famous Jewish Berliners are buried here: the scholar Hermann Cohen, the composer Louis Lewandowski, the painter Lesser Ury, the woman who founded the soup kitchen movement Lina Morgenstern, the founder of the KaDeWe (=Kaufhaus des Westens =Department Store of the West, Germany’s fanciest department store) Adolf Jandorf, the publisher Samuel Fischer, the restaurateur Berthold Kempinski etc. There is also a monument in honour of the members of the Jewish-Communist resistance group centred around Herbert Baum. There is a special field of honour commemorating those Jewish soldiers who fell in World War One.
To the right of the entrance area is also a grave for torah roles. During the Nazi era 4,000 graves were damaged and a mourning hall was destroyed. Some Jews survived in hiding on the cemetery premises. The first public service held after liberation took place on May 11, 1945 in the main hall of the cemetery and was led by Rabbi Martin Riesenburger.
Right now, the Jewish community is attempting to have the cemetery put on the Unesco list of sites belonging to the world cultural heritage.
Herbert-Baum-Strasse 45, Tel.: 925-3330, Fax 9237-6296
M4, M12, M13 to Antonplatz
Open: Sun – Thu 8 am - 5 pm(November to March 8 am – 4 pm), Fri 8 am -3 pm; on Saturday and Jewish holidays closed
Cemetery of the orthodox community Adass Jisroel
This cemetery, which is also in Weissensee, was opened in 1880 und has around 3,000 graves. In 1991 the reconstructed mourning hall was consecrated. The cemetery is always closed and can only be visited after making arrangements with the community’s office (Tel.: 925-1724).
Jewish Cemetery Heerstrasse
Because of the overall political situation, the West Berlin Jewish Community separated from the unified Jewish Community based in East Berlin in 1953, causing the necessity to set up a cemetery in the western part of the city. In 1955 this new cemetery was consecrated on the Heerstrasse in the district of Charlottenburg.
Buried there are such people as Heinz Galinski, who for many years was the chairman of the Jewish community as well as chairing the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the organisation responsible for all Jewish affairs in Germany, Hans Rosenthal, the popular quiz master on radio and television and the Social Democratic city counsellor as well as representative of parliament Jeanette Wolff.
Heerstrasse 141; Tel.: 304 –3234
Busses X 34, X 49, M 49, 128 to Scholzplatz
Sun – Thu 8 am -5 pm (November to March 8 am -4 pm; Fri 8 am -3 pm)
Please take into account that men must wear a hat of some sort when visiting a Jewish cemetery. If necessary this can be loaned out at the entrance to the cemetery.