|Already online! Register of gravestones in the Jewish cemetery|
The Jewish cemetery in Hohenems is just as old as the first settlement of Jewish people in 1617, when Earl Kaspar of Hohenems welcomed 12 Jewish families from Southern Germany and Switzerland (Rheineck) into his dominion. He therefore assigned a piece of land to them in the so-called 'Schwefel' (sulphur) at the end of the town which they could use for Jewish burials.
The cemetary is located at a timbered slope of the 'Schwefelberg' (sulphur mountain). There might be more than 500 graves in total. 370 gravestones remain preserved up to now. In contrast to Christian tradition, a grave may only be allocated once in Judaism. The soil surrounding the deceased person is respected as the property of that person. The fact that Jewish graves are indissoluble, makes Jewish cemeteries of cultural and historical interest.
The Jewish cemetery today
In recent years, the Jewish Museum of Hohenems has compiled a detailed survey of the cemetery, a photographic documentation of all still existing gravestones, a registration of the German and Hebrew inscriptions (with translation in German) and an artistically historical description of the most interesting gravestones. On the basis of this data, an electronical database was compiled, containing the name, grave number and inscription (incl. translation) of all existing gravestones.
The Jewish cemetery, having survived the era of the Nazi regime without being damaged, was bought from the Jewish community of Innsbruck by a group of descendants of Jewish families from Hohenems who lived near the Austrian border in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland. This group founded the 'Verein zur Erhaltung des jüdischen Friedhofs in Hohenems' (association for the maintenance of the Jewish cemetery in Hohenems) in 1954. Although the Jewish community of Hohenems was dissolved, the Jewish cemetery still existed. Various people have been buried there since then and some descendants and Jewish people living in Vorarlberg have already reserved graves for the future.
Verein zur Erhaltung des Jüdischen Friedhofs in Hohenems
(Association for the maintenance of the Jewish cemetery in Hohenems)
President: Yves M. Bollag, CH-6926 Montagnola
Honorary president: Kurt Bollag, CH-9443 Widnau
Treasurer: Heinz Baum, FL-9492 Eschen
Actuary: Dr. Johannes Inama, Jewish Museum of Hohenems, A-6845 Hohenems
Alpha Rheintal Bank, CH 9442 Berneck,
Account number: 30.38154-9
A-6845 Hohenems branch, PC 0200-048924