• Memorial to the Deported Baden Jews
The monument in Neckarzimmern recalls into memory the fate of the Jews of Baden. On October 22, 1940, the SS deported the Jewish residents of 137 Baden communities to France. They were interned in the Gurs camp by order of the French Vichy Government. Many of the Jews from Baden perished in the Auschwitz death camp after being deported from Gurs by orders of the SS in 1942.
Image: Gailingen, October 20, 1940, Deportation of Jews to Gurs, Yad Vashem
Gailingen, October 20, 1940, Deportation of Jews to Gurs, Yad Vashem

Image: Neckarzimmern, 2004, Memorial at the time when the foundation stone was laid, Jürgen Stude
Neckarzimmern, 2004, Memorial at the time when the foundation stone was laid, Jürgen Stude
In 1940, all of the Jews residing in Alsace and Lorraine were deported to the southern part of France controlled by the collaborating government in Vichy. At the time, the two provinces were administered by Robert Wagner and Josef Bürckel, in charge of the neighbouring districts of Baden and Saar-Palatinate respectively. These deportations prompted Wagner and Bürckel to also expel the Jews from Baden and Saar-Palatinate to France. The orders had not come from the Reich government in Berlin; the operation was kept a secret and had been initiated by the two »Gauleiter«. The so-called »Wagner-Bürckel-Aktion« was put into effect on October 22 and 23, 1940 - it was among the first deportations of Jews from the German Reich. Members of the Gestapo rounded up the Jews from the regions of Baden and Saar-Palatinate, giving them one hour to pack only few belongings before gathering at public squares. From there they were chased onto trucks and buses and transported to larger train stations. A total of nine trains had been prepared to take them to France. The French authorities had not been informed about the plan. Disguised as transports of the Wehrmacht the trains could pass the border to France undetected. When the Vichy Government found out who had been on the train, it decided that the Jews were to be interned at the Gurs camp near the Spanish border. The camp was completely unprepared to take 7,000 new inmates. The men and women were separated at Gurs and allocated to barracks. Within a few months, many of those interned at Gurs fell ill and died due to the insufficient food and medical supplies as well as a lack of hygienic facilities at the camp.
Image: Gailingen, October 20, 1940, Deportation of Jews to Gurs, Yad Vashem
Gailingen, October 20, 1940, Deportation of Jews to Gurs, Yad Vashem

Image: Neckarzimmern, 2004, Memorial at the time when the foundation stone was laid, Jürgen Stude
Neckarzimmern, 2004, Memorial at the time when the foundation stone was laid, Jürgen Stude
About 6,000 Jewish children, women and men from the district of Baden were deported to the Gurs internment camp. Over 1,000 Jews from the district of Saar-Palatinate were deported. How many of them died due to the conditions they were subjected to at Gurs is not known. When then National Socialists decided on the »final solution of the Jewish question«, Theodor Dannecker, responsible for implementing the new policy in France, ordered the deportation of all Jews held at Gurs to Auschwitz in August 1942. Many Jews from Baden were among those deported.
Image: Gurs, 1940/41, Ms. Althausen from Mannheim at the Gurs camp, USHMM
Gurs, 1940/41, Ms. Althausen from Mannheim at the Gurs camp, USHMM

Image: Neckarzimmern, 2004, Aerial view of the memorial grounds, Martin Maier
Neckarzimmern, 2004, Aerial view of the memorial grounds, Martin Maier
The memorial project was brought about by a cooperation of the catholic youth section of the Freiburg archdiocese and the protestant office for youth work at the state church of Baden. It was dedicated on October 23, 2005, on the grounds of the protestant youth conference centre in Neckarzimmern. The cement foundation of the memorial in the form of a Star of David measures about 25 metres on each side. It is currently the only monument in Baden in honour of all the Jews deported from Baden. The memorial follows a dynamic concept: there are plans to set up a total of 137 individually designed stones around the memorial, one for each of the 137 towns in Baden from which Jews were deported.
Image: Neckarzimmern, 2009, The memorial four years after its opening, Jürgen Stude
Neckarzimmern, 2009, The memorial four years after its opening, Jürgen Stude

Image: Neckarzimmern, 2009, Stones surrounding the memorial, Jürgen Stude
Neckarzimmern, 2009, Stones surrounding the memorial, Jürgen Stude
Name
Mahnmal zur Erinnerung an die deportierten badischen Juden
Address
Steige 50
74865 Neckarzimmern
Phone
+49 (0)761 514 424 7
Fax
+49 (0)761 514 476 244
Web
http://www.mahnmal-projekt.de
E-Mail
mahnmal@seelsorgeamt-freiburg.de
Open
Accessible at all times
Possibilities
Newsletter of the Peace Workgroup