The Jewish cemetery of Hohenems is one of the most important cultural and historical monuments in the country. In 1617, when Count Kaspar of Hohenems allowed the settlement of Jewish families, he also assigned the land for the cemetery to the newly arrived inhabitants. It is located approximately 1.5 miles south of the town center on the wooded slope of the so-called “Schwefelberg” (sulphur hill). Presumably, there are far more than 500 people buried on its grounds, of which 379 headstones are still visible. Even today the cemetery is used for burials.
In 1938, the cemetery was confiscated by the Nazi authorities of Hohenems and “aryanized.” Some headstones were vandalized during the Nazi rule, but the cemetery as a whole remained intact – and was restituted to the Jewish congregation of Innsbruck (Tyrol and Vorarlberg) after the war. Since 1954, the cemetery has belonged to an association, founded by descendants of Hohenems’ Jews, and is carefully preserved and maintained. With regard to the restorations, the association is supported by the federal office of preservation, the State of Vorarlberg, and the municipality of Hohenems.
A guided tour through the Jewish quarter can be adjusted to fit different time frames, corresponding to other elements of the tour.