Going Underground: Burial, Restitution, and Jewish Space in Postwar Germany

The functions and boundaries of Jewish cemeteries underwent massive transformations in the Nazi era. The spaces in which Jewish mourning and honoring the dead could take place were radically disrupted. This article focuses first on the upheavals experienced by graveyards in the Reich under Nazi rule. It then turns to a postwar dispute in Fulda, where a major Jewish restitution organization, the JRSO, struggled to restore the integrity of the city’s old Jewish cemetery. The history of such institutions both in the Nazi era and the decades following 1945 raise broad questions for how we think about the contours of “Jewish space” in Germany, its destruction and the possibility or impossibility of its repair.