Report of visits to Mainz, NiederSaulheim and Jugenheim Cemetery #germany


Jane Vogel-Kohai & Ofer Kohai <vogelko@...>
 

Dear Fellow GerSiggers,
I have just come back >from my trip to Mainz and Munich, and I am
overwhelmed, to put it mildly. Two friends of my aunt, retired
schoolteachers, took us around Mainz and were so wonderful, it is difficult
to put into words. People in general were very nice, and aside >from some
large crowds in Munich, we enjoyed the exuberence of the World Cup. There
was a party atmosphere all around, people >from all over the world were
enjoying themselves, sometimes somewhat loudly, but never obnoxiously or
anything worse.
Went to Dachau and it was amazing how many people were there, most of them
people who had come to Munich for the World Cup and to have a good time, yet
they found their way to see Dachau.
As for Mainz - beautiful city, small, not like Munich, there was partying
going on but since it was not a venue for a game, it was somewhat quieter.
We saw some of the usual tourist sites, including St. Stephen's Church, with
Chagall windows, sailed down the Rhine, went to Worms.
Our hosts took us to the Jewish cemetery in Mainz, which seems to be in
beautiful condition. We found the graves of one set of great-grandparents,
as well as those of a few other relatives. Unfortunately, we did not do our
homework to determine the locations of other graves in advance, so we did
not find them of course. We also saw (>from afar) the ancient cemetery of
Mainz, going back 1000 years.
I was particularly interested in visiting the cemetery at NiederSaulheim
(about 20 km. out of Mainz), where my family is originally from. The Jewish
cemetery is in the Christian one, and consists of only 2 or 3 graves. It is
possible that graves were destroyed here, because there is a vacant area
right where one would expect the Jewish graves to be, but this might be an
assumption on my part.
The most exciting part was when our hosts took us to Jugenheim, a nearby
town with a rather large cemetery in pretty good shape. This cemetery is in
a field, it is a bit isolated, about 200 m. >from the entrance to the town.
It is unmarked, but there is a fence and a low gate which is locked with a
rather new lock. We easily climbed over and into the cemetery and found
graves going back 100 and 200 years, including quite a number of Vogels.
Also, quite a few fellows named Rafael. This would give some support to the
theory that the name Vogel came >from the local German pronunication of
Rafael, and that the common ancestor was indeed Rafael. The cemetery served
nearby communities, and we found a Leopold Vogel who was >from NiederSaulheim
(and might be my ancestor).
Some of the stones are falling apart and I wonder if anyone knows if
anything can be done to preserve what's left of them. I estimate that there
are about 80-100 stones all together, about 1/3 of them are in really bad
shape, 1/3 just bad shape and the rest are OK. A lot of the stones are of a
red stone (sandstone?) and they seem to be in the worst conditions.
I would think that it is possible that anyone with ancestors in some of
these small villages and towns near Mainz and the area, might have ancestors
buried in this cemetery. Has anyone else heard of it?
Later, I spoke with someone >from Mainz and told her about this cemetery and
she was surprised that it was in such good shape, because, according to her,
the NPD is strong there.
I would like to know how to get this cemetery in the JOWBR project. I have 2
photos of the cemetery and a few specific graves. Is there any kind of
project that would be able to photograph all the graves? (I couldn't stay
long enough, unfortunately.)
I would also like to point out that even though we were there only for about
20 minutes, I was covered in bugs, including ticks, so if anyone would go
there, be aware and cover up.

If anyone would like copies of the photos, let me know and I will send them.
Best regards,

Jane Vogel-Kohai Moshav Mesilat Tzion, Israel <vogelko@...>

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