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Jewish Families from Rotenburg / Fulda (Hessen) Germany

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  • Arolsen Archive
    Röschen Haarburger (1893 - 1943)
    Marriage: Hesse, Germany, Marriages, 1849-1930: Fulda 1923, image 100Profile Image: Deportation card from the Netherlands
  • Siegfried Halberstadt (1874 - 1938)
    Siegfried Halberstadt* Germany, Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898* Birth: July 26 1874 - Frankfurt (main), Hessen-Nassau, Preussen, Germany* Parents: Solomon Halberstadt, Beilchen Spier
  • Pescilla Halberstadt (1885 - d.)
    Pescilla Cahn* Germany, Hesse Birth Index, 1874-1911* Birth: Feb 12 1885* Mother: Jette Stern* Father: Michael CahnPescilla Halberstadt (born Cahn)* Jewish Holocaust Memorials and Jewish Residents of G...
  • Mirjam Bing (1879 - 1941)
    Mirjam Cahn* Germany, Hesse Marriage Index, 1849-1931* Relation: Bride* Birth: May 2 1879 - Fulda, Hesse, Germany* Marriage: Aug 16 1899 - Frankfurt Am Main, Hesse, Germany* Groom: Meyer Bing* Parents ...
  • Anselm Asher Cahn (1888 - 1947)
    Anselm Cahn* Germany, Hesse Birth Index, 1874-1911* Birth: Apr 26 1888* Mother: Jette Stern* Father: Michael CahnAnselm Cahn* German Minority Census, 1939* Birth: Apr 26 1888 - Fulda, Germany* Residenc...

This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Rotenburg/Fulda (Hessen), Germany also known as Rotenburg.

JewishGen-Rotenburg/Fulda (Hessen)

Wikipedia Rotenburg an der Fulda

Armin Meiwes, the Rotenburg cannibal


Rotenburg an der Fulda is a town in northeast Hesse, Germany, lying as the name describes, in the narrowest part of the river Fulda. The town’s lowest point lies in the area near the two bridges across the Fulda linking Rotenburg’s Old Town and New Town; these are the Alte Fuldabrücke (“Old Fulda Bridge”) and the Brücke der Städtepartnerschaften (“Bridge of Town Partnerships”).

The nearest cities are Kassel (some 50 km to the north) and Fulda (some 70 km to the south).


In 769, the outlying centres of Braach and Lispenhausen, along with the now vanished village of Breitingen (which lay somewhere near the Hochmahle) had their first documentary mentions in the Hersfeld Abbey’s directory of holdings. These consisted of six estates and 90 Morgen of land. The Gisonen were the Abbey's Vogt. They built the first security castle in the Fulda valley once they had come to hold the Vogtei (the right to be Vogt). Around this castle arose a settlement.

The settlement on the Fulda’s left bank, today’s Altstadt (“Old Town”), had its first documentary mention as a town in 1248, and after the Thuringian-Hessian War of Succession in 1264 the town belonged to the Landgraviate of Hesse. The old castle in the valley had supposedly been removed sometime after 1423. In 1470 arose the first Schloss Rotenburg. A great town fire destroyed the Old Town in 1478 along with the newly built Schloss. Between 1627 and 1834, Rotenburg was a residence town of the landgrave family of Hesse-Rotenburg, the so-called Rotenburger Quart.

In 1615, 57 houses burnt down in Braach, and in the Thirty Years' War, in 1637, the town and the town hall burnt. The fire was set by soldiers from the Isolani Regiment. In March 1882, the volunteer fire brigade was started as a club. In 1900 it acquired an equipment shed with a drying tower near the Fulda.

During the Second World War, the town was the location of a prisoner of war camp for officers (Oflag). Rotenburg has belonged since 1972 to Hersfeld-Rotenburg district, before which it was the old Rotenburg district’s seat. In 2003, the town earned unwanted fame through Armin Meiwes.

Jewish presence

Jews lived in Rotenburg an der Fulda since its founding in approximately 1200. The Jewish community was massacred during the Black Death pogroms of 1348, and it was not until 350 years later that another was established in Rotenburg.

  • Peak Jewish population: 300 in 1900; Jewish population in 1933: unknown
  • In 1731, 133 Jews lived in Rotenburg. The community established a synagogue in 1738—restored in 1923 and inaugurated in 1924—and a cemetery in 1740.
  • By the end of the 18th century, 200 Jews lived in Rotenburg. Members of this community were required, on the basis of an old ordinance, to give the local church leader a silver spoon once every year.
  • Rotenburg was also home to a district rabbinate and, during the years 1826 to 1913, a Jewish elementary school. (The school offered religious studies only after 1913.) In 1848, a time of great economic distress in the region, the local populace vandalized Jewish property and smashed store windows. Similar violence erupted in Rotenburg soon after the Nazis came to power in 1933.
  • On Pogrom Night, November 1938, Jewish homes and businesses were destroyed; the synagogue was desecrated (its windows smashed, its ritual objects destroyed). The synagogue building was leveled in 1947, after which a memorial stone, commemorating the destroyed school and synagogue, was erected at the site.
    (Author Fred Gottlieb; Sources: AJ, EJL, LJG, Located Hesse).

Fulda's Jews were targeted again after the Black Plague when 600 were murdered for supposedly poisoning the wells of neighbouring Gentiles.

In 1784 one of Germany’s first Jewish schools was opened. By 1930 a modern Orthodox community had grown to about 1,100 people. The overall population of Fulda being 28,000.

Armin Meiwes

(English: /ˈɑːrmɪn ˈmaɪvəs/; born 1 December 1961) is a German computer repair technician who achieved international notoriety for killing and eating a voluntary victim who he had found via the Internet. After Meiwes and the victim jointly attempted to eat the victim's severed penis, Meiwes killed his victim and proceeded to eat a large amount of his flesh. Because of his acts, Meiwes is also known as the Rotenburg Cannibal or Der Metzgermeister (The Master Butcher).

Arrest, trial, and conviction of manslaughter

Meiwes was arrested in December 2002, when a college student in Innsbruck phoned the police after seeing new advertisements for victims and details about the killing on the Internet. Investigators searched his home and found body parts and the video tape of the killing.

  • On 30 January 2004, Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison. The case attracted considerable media attention.
  • Meiwes has admitted cannibalizing Brandes and has expressed regret for his actions.
  • He added he wanted to write a book of his life story with the aim of deterring anyone who wants to follow his footsteps. Websites dedicated to Meiwes have appeared, with people advertising for willing victims. "They should go for treatment, so it doesn't escalate like it did with me", said Meiwes.
  • While in prison, Meiwes has since become a vegetarian. He believes there are about 800 cannibals in Germany.

Retrial and conviction

In April 2005, a German court ordered a retrial after prosecutors appealed Meiwes' sentence. They believed he should have been convicted of murder. Among the questions courts answered is whether Brandes agreed to his killing, and whether he was legally capable of doing so at the moment, taking into account his apparent mental problems as well as his significant intake of alcohol.

Other aspects of the retrial determined whether Meiwes killed to satiate his own desires (in particular sexual desires) or because he was asked to, which Meiwes has repeatedly rejected the former during testimony.

At his retrial, a psychologist stated that Meiwes could reoffend and still "had fantasies about devouring the flesh of young people".On 10 May 2006, a court in Frankfurt convicted Meiwes of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Cultural impact

  • Films based on the case, many have been banned in Germany due to the graphic nature.

Rosa von Praunheim
Diary of a Cannibal
Australian thriller "Feed"

  • Music specially references this case, much of which was highly controversial when released

Rock Musician Marilyn Manson
German industrial metal band "Rammstein"

  • Television parodies of the Meiwes case, documentaries, interviews, sitcoms
  • Theatre an award winning play premiered in Los Angeles. The production was nominated for various awards from all the major Los Angeles theatrical critics.


Of historic value

  • The mikvah, the former Jewish community’s ritual bath, since 2006 is a memorial and meeting place and Jewish Museum.
  • Two websites with extensive information - and
  • Rotenburg further has other historic churches and interesting houses. Even parts of the mediaeval town wall from the 12th and 13th centuries with two round towers are preserved.