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This article is taken from PN Review 228, Volume 42 Number 4, March - April 2016.

The Jewish Cemetery at Sulzburg

translated from the German by Nicolas Jacobs in collaboration with Gardis Cramer von Laue & Cornelia Schroeder
Peter Huchel
Although it is one of the oldest Jewish burial-grounds and has been mentioned in records since the mid-seventeenth century, it is difficult to imagine that the Jewish cemetery in Sulzburg will one day be awarded a star in Baedeker.

I first saw the cemetery in 1925. I was walking from Staufen to Sulzburg with my friend Hans A. Joachim, son of a Jewish doctor in Freiburg. It was a hot August day. With our jackets over our shoulders, we wandered about for a while in the shade of the vineyards and trees. We were both studying German at Freiburg, brought closer by our interest in modern literature. Joachim was not an Orthodox Jew. The world of dreams, the mystical, the supernatural were not his thing. When he talked about Russian or Polish Jews, a hint of mockery could be seen on his face. He considered himself a Spanish Jew – one of the Sephardi. Moreover, because he knew that in Berlin I belonged to a circle of Eastern Jews – the Goldberg Circle – and that I was an enthusiastic reader of Goldberg’s book, Die Wirklichkeit der Hebräer, he would call me ‘a little Sabbath-goy’, and laugh heartily each time it made me angry.

Along the vine-covered slopes, the vine-growers were spraying the plants with copper-sulphate. They pumped the light blue liquid from metal canisters on their backs. Not a breath stirred. Only the dry call of a wren could be heard in the brown grass. We entered Sulzburg through a narrow city-gate. It was midday. Almost all the wooden ...


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