All posts by Maria Stürzebecher

About Maria Stürzebecher

I am the curator of the Museum Old Synagogue in Erfurt and scientific coordinator for the UNESCO World Heritage application Jewish-Medieval Heritage in Erfurt. Since 2012, I am editing the series "Erfurter Schriften zur Jüdischen Geschichte"; in 2020, the 6th volume "Ritual Objects in Ritual Contexts." was published. I studied History of Arts, Archaeology, Sociology and History and wrote my PhD thesis about the medieval Erfurt Treasure, which was published in 2009 entitled „Der Schatzfund aus der Erfurter Michaelisstrasse – Mittelalterliche Goldschmiedearbeiten als Zeugnisse jüdischen Lebens in Erfurt“.

Talk: Die christliche Appropriation von Iberischen Synagogen. Eine Geschichte von Ver- und Entflechtung am Beispiel des mittelalterlichen Segovias by Franziska Kleybolte, Universität Münster

14 December 2022 6 pm, Universität Münster, Historisches Seminar, Raum: K 226 and online (zoom).

The appropriation of sacred sites is a well-known phenomenon, although little studied for synagogues in particular. The example of the Sinagoga Mayor in Segovia, which was built at the beginning of the at the beginning of the 15th century and in connection with newly enacted segregation laws. The lecture examines the Christian instrumentalisation of synagogues in Castile and Aragon in the late Middle Ages, using the example of the Sinagoga Mayor in Segovia, which was transformed into the Iglesia Corpus Christi at the beginning of the 15th century and in connection with newly enacted separation laws.

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Genetic studies of the medieval Jewish cemetery in Erfurt have yielded results that have attracted worldwide attention

by Karin Sczech, Erfurt

Karin Sczech at the excavation, © TLDA

In principle, according to the Jewish faith, burials take place for eternity and graves are only to be reopened if a reburial of the dead to Israel is planned. The integrity of the buried is also very important. Accordingly, archaeological investigations of Jewish cemeteries are rarely carried out.

In Erfurt, a rescue excavation was necessary in 2013 at the medieval Jewish cemetery, as construction machinery had already disturbed the ground. In close consultation with the Jewish Community of Thuringia, anthropological investigations were also arranged after the excavations were completed. Due to various circumstances, these investigations were delayed longer than expected, so that the skeletons were still in storage at the Thuringian State Office of Archaeology in Weimar when, in 2017, the Israeli geneticist Shai Carmi made a request to also conduct genetic investigations. There are very few Jewish cemeteries worldwide where this was possible.

Continue reading Genetic studies of the medieval Jewish cemetery in Erfurt have yielded results that have attracted worldwide attention

Talk: Lost traces? Materielle Zeugnisse jüdischen Lebens in Bayern vom Spätmittelalter bis in das 19. Jahrhundert by Bernd Päffgen (LMU München)

22 November 2022, 7 pm, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Alfons-Goppel-Str. 11 (Residenz), 80539 München

Only a few testimonies in today’s Bavaria bear witness to the medieval Jewry located in the towns, such as the synagogue in Miltenberg, which has been preserved as part of a brewery. The Jewish communities in the bishopric and imperial cities as well as in the ducal residences were particularly important. It is difficult to reconstruct the Jewish quarters in these towns. Archaeology plays an important role in this.

Germany: €900,000 in state and federal grants to restore the 12th century mikveh in Worms

German state and federal governments have allocated €900,000 toward the restoration of the medieval mikveh in the synagogue complex in Worms. During a visit to the synagogue this week, Rhineland-Palatinate state’s Interior Minister Michael Ebling officially presented a €360,000 grant for the project to the Worms Mayor. This adds to a federal government allocation of around €550,000 from a special monument protection program.

Online Talk: Die „Wittenberger Judensau“ – Polarisierende Kunst und ihre rechtliche Einordnung am Beispiel des Urteils des BGH vom 14. Juni 2022

1 December 2022, 6pm, JLU, Phil I, Seminargebäude II, Raum 011, Alter Steinbacher Weg 44, 35394 Gießen and online

Art polarises – since ancient times and to this day, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes deliberately. Can anyone who feels violated by art defend themselves against it? When does art actually affect the rights of the individual, on the basis of which understanding of art do courts have to decide, and according to which standards is it to be determined which statements are to be attributed to a work of art as violating rights?

Book presentation: “Jüdische Geschichte in Thüringen. Strukturen und Entwicklungen vom Mittelalter bis ins 20. Jahrhundert”

1 December 2022, 6 pm, Kleine Synagoge, An der Stadtmünze 5, 99084 Erfurt

In September 2021, the “Historical Commission for Thuringia”, together with the Research Centre for Modern Regional History of Thuringia and the Association for Thuringian History, organised a conference in Schmalkalden entitled “Neun Jahrhunderte jüdisches Leben in Thüringen. Bilanz und Perspektiven der Forschung” (Nine Centuries of Jewish Life in Thuringia. Balance and Perspectives of Research), a conference was held in Schmalkalden. The proceedings were published under the title “Jüdische Geschichte in Thüringen. Strukturen und Entwicklungen vom Mittelalter bis ins 20. Jahrhundert” (Jewish History in Thuringia: Structures and Developments from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century). The conference proceedings will be presented on Thursday, 1 December 2022, at 6 pm in the Small Synagogue Erfurt.

Conference: Looking at Language.

Saturday, November 12, 2022, 9:00 am to 5:15 pm

Julis Romo Rabinowitz A17, Princeton University and livestream

Eight scholars in a wide range of specializations will address the many relationships between language and works of art, including the literal use and/or representation of language in creating a work; the linguistic traditions that surrounded its creation and reception, and the language now used to analyze and understand it. With a contribution on the Iberian Kaufmann Haggadah by Sarit Shalev-Eyni.

The conference livestream will be available in real time at No registration is needed for this.

Opening of the Exhibition: „In and Out – Between and Beyond. Jüdisches Alltagsleben im mittelalterlichen Europa“

8 November 2022, Old Synagogue Erfurt

Kalman Gavriel Delmoor: Sources (Erfurt)

The exhibition was conceived by the research group Beyond the Elite: Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe at the Hebrew University Jerusalem, led by Prof. Elisheva Baumgarten. Based on the group‘s research results, seven Israeli artists created contemporary works that address the various aspects regarding the daily life of Jewish communities in medieval Ashkenaz. Curated by Dr. Ido Noy, the exhibition is on view for the first time outside Jerusalem – at the Old Synagogue Erfurt, where it will enter into dialogue with the authentic evidence of medieval Jewish everyday life in the permanent exhibition.