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Jewish Cemetery Grosse Hamburger Strasse

A photo of sculptures from Will Lammert at a Jewish Cemetery in Berlin
Von Jochen Teufel - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0,

History and Location

The Jewish Cemetery Grosse Hamburger Strasse is located in the heart of Berlin's Mitte district. It was founded in 1672 and served as the main burial ground for Berlin's Jewish community until 1827. The cemetery covers an area of approximately 4.5 hectares and contains over 100,000 graves.

One of the cemetery's most notable features is its wall, which was built in 1827 after the cemetery was closed to new burials. The wall has several gates, each of which leads to a different section of the cemetery. The gates are named after important figures in Jewish history, such as Moses Mendelssohn and Rabbi Akiva.

The cemetery was heavily damaged during World War II, and many of its gravestones were destroyed. In the post-war years, the cemetery was neglected and overgrown, but in the 1990s, a restoration project was launched, and the cemetery was reopened to the public.

Graves of Prominent Figures

The Jewish Cemetery Grosse Hamburger Strasse is the final resting place of many prominent figures in Jewish history, including the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer, and the banker Gerson von Bleichröder. Their graves are marked by impressive monuments and are located in the cemetery's central section.

One of the cemetery's most touching graves is that of the poet Berthold Auerbach. His gravestone is adorned with a statue of a woman holding a lyre, symbolizing the muse of poetry. Auerbach was a prolific writer and a champion of Jewish rights and is considered one of the most important Jewish authors of the 19th century.

Visiting the Cemetery

The Jewish Cemetery Grosse Hamburger Strasse is open to visitors every day except Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Visitors are asked to dress respectfully.

It is a place where the past and the present intersect so if you find yourself in Berlin, make sure to visit this unique and fascinating cemetery – it is an experience you will never forget.


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