On Holocaust Memorial Day, an exhibition of K.H. Schmeißer's paintings entitled 'Is that a human being?' was opened in the former Jewish synagogue in Rexingen. The paintings show figures with obvious human contours, all in various stages of disintegration.
Jean Améry, born as Hans Meyer in Vienna in October 1912, was one of the most important European intellectuals of the 1960s and 1970s. A philosopher and author, he dealt vividly with his experience in Nazi Concentration Camps in his collection of essays entitled Beyond Guilt and Atonement, an indispensable work in German literature on the Holocaust. All five essays, including "How much Heimat does one need?", are still highly relevant today.
The artist K.H. Schmeißer, born in Bad Wurzach in 1957, lives and works in Horb-on-Neckar. His preoccupying - almost exclusive - theme is the human figure. His work is an artistic study of the human form, its existence, its nature, its ambiguity. He paints an honest, unsparing picture of humanity, devoid of pretence or masquerade.
On November 27th, six new memorial stones -'stumbling blocks' - were laid in Rexingen and two in Mühringen. The artist Gunther Demnig from Cologne (founder of this project) came to Horb for the fourth time to lay the stones personally. He reported that there are now over 49,000 such memorial stones throughout Europe. In Germany alone the project includes around 1,000 sites to date, in major cities as in small villages.
Every year in November, descendants of the Jewish community of Rexingen gather for a memorial observance in Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus in New Jersey close to New York. The site of the observance is a monument commemorating family members murdered by the Nazis as well as those in graves left behind in Rexingen and relatives who died in the American Army in World War II.
Steve Löwengart, son of Richard and Irma Löwengart, wrote the following report:
Barbara Staudacher and Heinz Hoegerle visited Shavei Zion in April. Together with Karl-Hermann Blickle and his wife Lisbeth they talked to friends in Israel about the possibility of building a museum in the centre of Shavei Zion. It should serve as a meeting place for young and old families.
Judy Temime, who is in charge of the archives of Shavei Zion, rearranged them considerably in recent months. They are now more easily accessible and new treasures have come to light, including a postcard discovered among the possessions left by Sev (Wolf) Berlinger.
World War I raged for four years, with a fatality rate hitherto unknown. It left in its wake a “lost generation”, traumatized by war experience in the trenches and confronted with suffering, loss and misery in the homeland.
A local section of the exhibition concentrates on the fate of Jewish soldiers from Horb, Rexingen, Mühringen, Nordstetten and Mühlen. Who were these men who went to war for Emperor and country and what happened to them afterwards?
The documentary film ‘In Search of the Last Jew in My Family’ records a family’s efforts to follow the trail of its Jewish grandfather, murdered in 1942. The film-makers, Peter Haas and Silvia Holzinger, will be present on both evenings.
This event is jointly presented by the Association of Patrons and Friends of the Former Rexingen Synagogue, the County Adult Education Centre and the Catholic Adult Education Programme, Freudenstadt.
The exhibition is a joint project of the Association of Patrons of the Rexingen Synagogue and the Catholic Adult Education Programme, Freudenstadt. It was set up by Immo Opfermann from Schömberg and shows how prisoners in the Concentration Camp supported each other in solidarity.
Judy Temime, archivist in Shavei Zion, writes:
For the year 2014 the residents of Shavei Zion are planning activites aimed at making their village more beautiful. It all began at the end of last year with the renovation of the large menorah on the old water tower. Now the water tower has been painted and the surrounding small garden area has been newly landscaped. The kids have a lot to do this year. They will set up a nature camp in the little eucalyptus forest north of the village, a "mobile-free zone" where they can fully concentrate on the care and preservation of their natural environment.