JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Book Cite: Juden in Mittweida by Dr. Juergen Nitsche #general

Stephen Falk <sfalkjd@...>

Mittweida is a town in Central Saxony in eastern Germany, about 20 km
north of Chemnitz. After the War it was in the DDR. Dr. Juergen
NITSCHE (, a local historian, is the
co-author of "Juden in Chemnitz: Die Geschichte der Gemeinde und des
Juedischen Friedhofs" (2002) and many many other works on the history
of Jewish communities and notable Jewish residents of Central Saxony.

Dr. Juergen NITSCHE has just published "Juden in Mittweida" (="Jews in
Mittweida"). To date, the history of the Jews of Mittweida has been
largely unexplored. This new book vividly tells the story of the
Jewish men, women and children living in Mittweida and the surrounding
area between 1888 and 1987, or studying there between 1870 and 1938,
and after 1949.

As early as 1870, the first Jewish student was enrolled at the
technical center. By 1938, more than 1,800 Jews were studying at the
engineering school.

At the end of the 1880s, the first Jewish merchants settled in
Mittweida. Subsequently the KOSTERLITZ, BACH, JACOBSOHN, LEWIN and
HALPERN families settled permanently in this industrial town in
central Saxony. Moses LESSER, a naturopath also settled in Mittweida.
More tradesmen and freelancers followed him. In the 1920s, the
Mittweida Jews founded their own association. But they were still
part of the Chemnitz Jewish community. The dead were buried in the
Jewish cemetery in Chemnitz-Altendorf.

The Mittweida nursing home housed both young people with mental or
emotional troubles and poor elderly Jews. Three residents of this home
were murdered in the Nazi euthanasia program in Pirna-Sunstone.
Between 1933 and 1939, many Mittweida Jews emigrated or relocated to
Berlin and Leipzig. The remaining Jews of Mittweida were murdered in
the ghettos, concentration camps and extermination camps.

After the War, only Klara FIEDLER and Alexander KOSTERLITZ returned to
Mittweida. Klara FIELDER ALDER and her nephew Eduard ADLER were among
the Jews who re-established the Jewish community in Chemnitz in
September 1945. After 1945, Nikolai HEYKING, Gert LILIENFELD and
Alfons KUTNER settled in the city. Since 2008, Stolpersteine
("Stumbling Stones") serve as a reminder of the murdered Jews of
Mittweida. In November 2017, a memorial plaque was installed to
memorialize Herbert BACH, a local merchant who committed suicide.

With this impressive 608-page comprehensive work-up, the Mittweidaer
Jews receive belated appreciation. Descendants of Mittweida Jewish
families have been very pleased with this work and some of the more
than 500 illustrations in the book were provided by them.

(I have no interest in this work, though I did have the pleasure of
providing occasional research assistance to the author.)

Best regards,
Stephen Falk
Point Roberts, WA, USA

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