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Baden-Württemberg Research Guide

Getting Started

The first stop for anyone research roots in Baden-Württemberg should be Alemannia Judaica, a web site created and maintained by Joachim Hahn, an early recipient of an Obermayer German Jewish History award and GerSIG’s sponsored speaker at the 2013 IAJGS International Conference in Boston.

Each former Jewish community and Jewish cemetery in the region has its own page. You can expect to find:
Synagogue pages: History of the Jewish community, history of the synagogue(s), historical newspaper and newsletter articles, synagogue photographs or depictions, external links and literature, a short excerpt from the “Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust” for the community
Cemetery pages: History of the cemetery, historical articles, map of the cemetery location, overview and select individual gravestone photographs (both newer and historical), external links and literature

Vital Records

Jewish vital records were first required in Baden in the 1810 – 1811 time period and were continued until the introduction of civil registry offices (Standesämter) in 1870. Similar records in Württemberg, frequently recorded in family books (Familienbücher), begin as early as the 1760s, although dates vary by town. Civil registration was introduced in Württemberg in 1876.[1], however individual communities continued recording vital events in family books through 1939/1940.

Most of the pre-civil registration vital records are held by the various branches of the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg.
Region Landesarchiv Vital Record Collection
Northern Baden Baden Vital Records
Southern Baden Southern Baden Vital Records
Baden and Württemberg Microfilm of the Vital Records of Jewish Communities in Württemberg, Baden and Hohenzollern

For a number of towns in Baden-Württemberg family lineage books (Ortssippenbücher or Ortsfamilienbücher) have been compiled from a variety of record including church records, Jewish vital registers and local civil registry office records. Although in German, a list of town with these books can be found for both Baden and Württemberg. Even if a town had a Jewish population the Jewish records may not have been included. When the Jewish community is included it may be intermixed with all families in the town or included as a separate section within the book.

Cemetery Records

Not all Jewish communities in Baden-Württemberg had their own cemeteries. Some towns buried their dead in a Verbandsfriedhof or collective cemetery, which were used by multiple nearby communities. Examples of these collective cemeteries include Hemsbach, Kuppenheim, Obergrombach, Schmieheim, Waibstadt and Wiesloch. A number of the smaller communities that used these cemeteries founded their own cemeteries in the 19th century. To determine which cemetery a particular community used consult the community’s page on Alemannia Judaica.

Most Jewish cemeteries located in Baden-Württemberg were photographed between 1985 and 1992 by the Zentralarchiv zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland. These photographs were then used by the Landesdenkmalamt Baden-Württemberg to create documentation for the 141 cemeteries in the region. See Photodocumentation of the Jewish Gravestones in Baden-Württemberg for additional details. Lists of those buried in these cemeteries can also be found through the Documentation of the Jewish Gravestones in Baden-Württemberg.

Several cemeteries have also been documented in published books:

Town Title
Affaltrach Der jüdische Friedhof Affaltrach
Bad Rappenau Der jüdische Friedhof Bad Rappenau (online at Alemannia Judaica)
Berlichingen, Hohebach, Krautheim, Laibach, Öhringen Die jüdischen Friedhöfe im Hohenlohekreis
Diersburg Der jüdische Friedhof in Diersburg
Eppingen Der jüdische Friedhof in Eppingen
Esslingen Jüdisches Leben in Esslingen. Geschichte, Quellen und Dokumentation.
Freiburg Denkmal und Name – Der Gute Ort Freiburg.
Freudental Der jüdische Friedhof in Freudental
Gailingen Der jüdische Friedhof in Gailingen: Memor-Buch
Heidelberg Der alte jüdische Friedhof am Klingenteich in Heidelberg, 1702 bis 1876
Jebenhausen and Göppingen Memor-Buch, die jüdischen Friedhöfe Jebenhausen und Göppingen
Mühringen Gräber im Wald: Lebensspuren auf dem jüdischen Friedhof in Mühringen
Offenburg Der gute Ort. Der jüdische Friedhof in Offenburg
Pforzheim Der jüdische Friedhof auf der Schanz in Pforzheim
Rexingen Der Judenfriedhof in Horb a.N. – Rexingen. Eine Dokumentation in zwei Bänden.
Schmieheim Der jüdische Friedhof in Schmieheim
Steinbach Der Jüdische Friedhof in Schwäbisch Hall-Steinbach
Wankheim Der jüdische Friedhof Wankheim

In addition to the databases and published works described above there are some web sites which have cataloged cemeteries.

Surname Adoption

Surnames became officially mandated for families in Baden in January 1809 and in Württemberg in April 1828[2]. However some families did have surnames in the region before this time.

Transcriptions of the lists showing which surnames were adopted by Jews in Baden in 1809 can be found online in the Leo Baeck Institute‘s Berthold Rosenthal collection.

Many of these original lists are also preserved in the records of the Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe.

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  • Last Modified: 07-30-2018
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