Related Links

Contributed Stories



Research Tools


The Schmieheim Jewish Cemetery

Photo of
                        Schmieheim Cemetery


The Schmieheim cemetery was established in 1682 to provide for the Jews moving into the Rhine valley.   Today, it is the largest Jewish cemetery (140 ares) in Southern Baden.
A 1998 evaluation of the cemetery determined there were 2950 burials, of which 459 were without gravestones.  The oldest known grave stone dates back to 1701, more than one hundred years before Jews adopted surnames.  There may have been more burials even earlier than 1701, without surviving records.  The earliest stones exhibit only Hebrew writing, while the stones from the middle of the 19th Century on have Hebrew on one side and German on the other.  A World War I memorial still stands in the cemetery ironically demonstrating the loyalty of the Jews to their German homeland. It was restored in 1998. The ruins of building, destroyed on Kristallnacht, can still be found in the graveyard.

During the November 1938 Kristallnacht, its morgue and other cemetery buildings were destroyed and many grave stones were overturned and destroyed. Even after WWII, desecration of the cemetery continued at least until the 1980s. A council of the Jewish Community of Baden-Emmendingen Ortenau is now responsible for the Cemetery and has proclaimed it as a historic landmark. The care of the cemetery is in the hands of the municipality of Kippenheim-Schmieheim.  In May 1999  "The Jewish Cemetery in Schmieheim" by Naftali Bar Giora, Bamberg, was published. It includes photographed of all the stones and inscriptions translated into German.

Location and Setting of the Jewish Cemetery:

The cemetery lies on the road south from Kippheim toward Walburg, just past Schmieheim itself. It is spread over quiet grassy slopes with patches of majestic cypress trees and surrounded by a stone wall.  This is the final resting area of the Jews of Ettenheim, Altdorf, Kippenheim, Nonnenweier, Schmieheim, Rust, Orschweier, Lahr and Friesenheim.

In her 2008 book, Ordinary People, Turbulent Times, Alice Dreifuss Goldstein wrote,

"The cemetery for Altdorf's Jews was located in Schmieheim, some 3 kilometers distant.  It occupied a grassy slope amid fields and small woods and was truly a place of peace. To reach it, the Jews of Altdorf walked along a narrow tree-lined road that curved along the side of a hill. In a funeral procession, the coffin was often carried the entire distance on the shoulders of a few men, although sometime a cart was used."

The geographical location of the site can be guised from the International Jewish Cemetery Project at the Kippenheim Page
and at: On the Road From Kippenheim (SW) toward Wallburg, at the fork to Altdorf 
(Compare with Detail Map of Cemetery Location )


Cemetery photos containing additional information can be found here.

Compiled by Pete Dreifuss (
Last updated 12 November 2013
Copyright © Peter A. Dreifuss 2012
Jewish Gen Home Page | KehilaLinks Directory
This site is hosted at no cost by JewishGen, Inc., the Home of Jewish Genealogy. If you have been aided in your research by this site and wish to further our mission of preserving our history for future generations, your JewishGenerosity is greatly appreciated.