Verblasste Spuren

Obermayer German Jewish History Award 2015 

About me

When I moved to Altenburg in 2001 I don´t knew very much about the town and certainly not from its Jewish history. But pretty soon I became aware of the topic when I met Ingolf Strassmann in 2003. He was a son of a Jewish father and a Catholic mother and fled from Altenburg in 1939. In 2003 he was looking for supporters for his book "Die Juden in Altenburg Stadt und Land" ("The Jews of Altenburg town and county") which was published by the publishing house Beier & Beran in 2004. So I first came into contact with the Jewish history of the town.

In March 2008 members of the most famous and influential Jewish family of Altenburg Cohn-Bucky Levy visited the town. In November the same year we layed the wellknown "Stolpersteine " ("Stumbling blocks") of Gunter Demnig infront of the former warehouse "M. & S. Cohn" in the Sporenstrasse with Laureen Levy from Bristol. In this context I had to gather essential facts about the family history of the Cohn´s, Bucky´s and Levy´s for the stone inscriptions and the accompanying event. This search finally aroused my interest in Jewish history of Altenburg. So since 2008 I am working intensively on this topic – always supported by the local archives and private supporters.

Meanwhile, my research brought me in contact with a variety of people and institutions around the world, many friendships have been formed. Still not all family fates are explored, probably quite a few will always remain in the dark. But anyone who´s familiar with the topic soon realizes how much the Jewish citizens of Altenburg influenced their town and characterised it – whether as respected merchants, doctors, artists or as neighbors, friends, schoolmates.

Two highlights happened in 2014: First I was able to publish a first documentation of Jewish life in a self-published book, second friends of Israel and Altenburg have recommended me for the German Jewish History Award of the Obermayer Foundation I was able to receive on 26th January 2015 at the Berlin House of Representatives. It was a great honor and joy that has inspired to carry on with the work.

Currently I am working not only on the Jewish history of Altenburg but also on the Jewish past in other towns and villages of the Altenburg County. A lot of information on Jewish life in Altenburger Land can be found on this website. If you have further questions, just contact me.