JHE reader Dr. Christian Riemenschneider in July sent us a report and photos showing the damage caused by devastating flooding to the Jewish cemetery and former synagogue in the devastated riverside town of Ahrweiler, in the Ahr river valley.
We’re happy to post new pictures that he has just sent us, taken on September 13, showing the results of the first phase of a clean-up of the cemetery, carried out in August by German soldiers. On August 24, at the conclusion of the efforts, a memorial ceremony led by military Rabbi Zsolt Balla took place.
The Ahrweiler Jewish cemetery lies around 100 meters from the Ahr river and covers an area of roughly 900 square meters. It has 66 matzevot and was used between 1871 and 1960. Like the town’s main cemetery (and cemeteries in other towns) — it was essentially washed away in the floods, with its gravestones knocked over and swept away by the force of the floodwaters.
“There is still work to be done, but the place regained some of its dignity,” Christian writes.
The picture below shows the scene around the same tree that is shown in the picture at the top of this page.