The project consist of two parts – a practical working part which will last 6 hours per day and a study part, which takes place in the evenings and during weekends.
The European Heritage Volunteers Project is the continuation of a similar project that had taken place in 2018. In 2018, around 85 % of the gravestones at the oldest cemetery could be documented; in 2019 the works will be finished. After having done so, the documentation of the gravestones at the cemetery Nr. 2 will start. Most of the gravestones at the Jewish cemeteries in Halberstadt are endangered by efflorescence, and the inscriptions become from year to year less readable.
On the oldest cemetery the vegetation around the grave stones will be removed and the moss at the stones will be carefully eliminated in order to prevent the ongoing impairment of the grave stones by plants. In addition, that part of the cemetery that had in 2018 not been accessible due to the high vegetation will be measured and the exact position of every grave stone will be marked. The so completed plan will serve as base for the detailed documentation of the remaining 15 % of the grave stones at the oldest cemetery. In continuation of the 2018 project the documentation will include a digital photographic part and a verbal part and may be complemented at one or the other grave stone by manual drawings, to create a second transmission as well as cautious restoring measures.
The works at cemetery Nr. 2 will be comparable except the clearance of the vegetation since the gravestones are significantly better accessible than those at the oldest cemetery.
Within the framework of collaboration with Technical University Braunschweig a special scan technology will be used at selected gravestones at the oldest cemetery that enables to make parts of the inscriptions readable that are due to erosion already not readable by human eyes.
In the frame of the educational part various lectures and guided tours as well as an excursion will be organised that the participants can gain comprehensive and detailed knowledge about the Jewish history in Germany and Europe, about Jewish heritage, but also about the rich history and the high valuable heritage of Halberstadt in general.
Shared rooms with beds, warm showers, toilets
The meals will be prepared together as they are part of the community life, what means that every participant will be responsible for the meal at least once during its stay. So it would be very nice if the participants could bring typical recipes from home in order to introduce each other to the preparation of food from all over the world.
A Jewish community in Halberstadt had existed since 13th century. Around the year 1700 the famous royal resident of Poland and agent or the Saxon court, Berend Lehmann, established a house of learning, the so called “Klaussynagogue”. The community was characterised by eruditeness and developed from the middle of the 19th century on into one of the centres of the Jewish orthodoxy.
The three Jewish cemeteries in Halberstadt with in total more than 1,000 grave stones from a period of more than 300 years sire of the clarity of past days. The inscriptions represent a value that has to be saved for upcoming generations and is still waiting to be discovered. At cemetery Nr. 1 (“Am Roten Strumpf”) that had been used from 1644 till ca. 1800 around 250 of originally more than 1,600 grave stones are preserved. At cemetery Nr. 2 (“Am Berge”) that had been used from ca. 1800 till ca. 1896 around 450 grave stones are preserved. At cemetery Nr. 3 (“Klein Quenstedter Straße“) that had been used from ca. 1896 on around 380 grave stones are preserved.
The Baroque grave stones at the oldest cemetery are rich decorated and therefore very important from the art history point of view. Important persons as Berend Lehmann are buried at this cemetery, the inscriptions provide an impression about 200 years history of the Jewish community in Halberstadt. The two younger cemeteries offer long invariably Hebraic inscriptions of a period of 140 years – from the beginning of the Jewish orthodoxy till the end of the Jewish community in Halberstadt.
In an era of growing assimilation and acculturation when elsewhere the percentage of German inscriptions on Jewish gravestones was increasing, both cemeteries are representing a special feature in Middle Germany. Jewish gravestones are not only materialised evidences of Jewish culture – in difference to Christian gravestones they content numerous information about the deceased person and are therefore often the only evidences of the disappeared Jewish culture of a town or a village.
The history of Open Houses Network dates back to the mid-1980s, when a group of young people started to restore village churches in East Germany in voluntary work to protect them from decay. The engagement for these buildings united people who enjoyed the freedom these activities provided and who filled these rooms with life again in ways which by far exceed the craftsmen’s work done – through exhibitions, concerts, making music together or just sitting by the camp fire.
Meanwhile, rooms free of political and ideological pressure are no longer urgently required; however, places have become rare where people can meet without commercial pressure, free of bureaucracy and institutionalism, free of nepotism and the exclusion which it produces. What should be easy – to go somewhere in order to meet people and to work together – has become difficult. The tightrope walk between, on the one hand, public activities in a monetary and functional sense, and the retreat into private life on the other, is very difficult, and it requires a lot of power and permanent efforts to tackle red tape and financial restrictions.
Free spaces are less and less understood as common property, and are permanently being cut back. The idea of public property seems to have gone out of fashion, and places of common responsible work have become rare.
Open Houses Network tries to create and protect such spaces. In this process, we do not want to be the do-ers, but be people who have a vision, who want to initiate something, but who also are aware of depending on the co-operation of others. We understand our projects and events as offers – as offers to create space for commitment, for changes, for meetings.
In accordance to the above described focus on heritage European Heritage Volunteers, a branch of Open Houses, organises Heritage Projects.
Heritage Projects combine practical work for the preservation or restoration of a cultural or natural heritage site with an extensive educational part that gives the theoretical background for the hands-on works and provides deeper heritage linked knowledge. Heritage Projects focus on traditional handcraft techniques, on the revitalisation of abandoned monuments, on the restoration of historical parks, on the maintenance of cultural landscapes or on other related topics.
Some of the Heritage Projects are organised in the framework of the World Heritage Volunteers initiative. The initiative was launched as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to mobilise and involve young people and youth organisations in heritage preservation and promotion. Since 2008 more than 200 projects at more than 100 World Heritage Sites in more than 50 different countries worldwide have been organised, in which more than 3,500 volunteers from over 70 countries have taken part. The European projects of World Heritage Volunteers are coordinated by European Heritage Volunteers.
Furthermore, European Heritage Volunteers initiates, develops, supports and mentors European Heritage Volunteers Partner Projects which are organised by heritage linked non-profit organisations in other European countries.
Read more about Heritage Projects on www.heritagevolunteers.eu.
Motivation letter related to the project and CV + photo required