Drohnenaufnahme, © Julian Kriesche
Dear Visitor, the Arbeitskreis Landsynagoge Roth, a project circle dedicated to preserving the synagogue in the village of Roth near Marburg in Hesse, Germany, welcomes you to our website. We would like to introduce you to our goals and inform you about our projects and activities.
We provide guided tours of the memorial site, the synagogue in Roth, and of the Jewish Cemetery, as well as a variety of cultural activities. Join us in solemn remembrance of the displacement, persecution, and murder of our Jewish neighbors during the Nazi Regime. Perhaps you’ll find our multi-faceted memorial work so interesting that you yourself would like to become a member of our group. You are warmly welcome to join us! Newcomers are always welcome to get involved in our activities and participate in our various projects.
We would also like to introduce you to the history of the Jewish Community that shaped and influenced life in Roth over the centuries before being violently eradicated within less than ten years of Nazi reign. Roth lost an essential part of its cultural heritage. We are trying to preserve what has survived and discover and reconstruct what once was. The physical witnesses of this lost culture: the synagogue, the place of the mikveh, the Jewish cemetery, are here for you to see and experience. Historically, the Jewish communities in Roth and Fronhausen were closely linked. We also include valuable information about Fronhausen’s Jewish past and remaining artifacts on our website.
The Managing Board of the Arbeitskreis Landsynagoge Roth
Statement on the attack of Hamas on Israel, 10-7- 2023, Simchat Torah
Once again, the people of Israel are hit by rockets and terror on a Jewish holiday. Once again they have to fear that the only halfway safe place to live in the world is being pulled out from under their feet. Jews have been persecuted and killed for millennia in every conceivable corner of the globe. Our hearts bleed when we realize that they find no peace even in Israel. From the cowardly attack of Hamas on Israeli civilians, from the kidnappings and exposures of the victims, an unmasked anti-Semitism looks at us – a fanaticism to want to destroy the state of Israel and all Jews.
We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and show our solidarity with the people of Israel and the Jews all over the world – but also with all Palestinians who suffer under Hamas' reign of terror. At the same time, we condemn the Iranian regime's gloating reaction to the attacks. Our solidarity is also with the courageous Iranians who are fighting their own oppressive regime and do not see Israel as an enemy.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all - in Israel, in Palestine, in Iran and elsewhere – who must fear and fight for their freedom and their lives these days. We will continue to do everything in our power to uphold the memory of the Shoah in Germany and especially in our region, to stand by the weak and the attacked in our country as well – and to resolutely fight anti-Semitism as well as anti-Muslim racism and every other form of racism and violence.
Arbeitskreis Landsynagoge Roth e.V.
In accordance with the declaration of: Judaica Meimbressen e.V., Verein der Freundinnen und Freunde jüdischen Lebens im Werra-Meißner-Kreis, Arbeitskreis Rückblende - Gegen das Vergessen e.V., Förderkreises Synagoge in Vöhl e.V. and many private individuals.
Virtual reconstruction of the interior
©ArchitecturaVirtualis GmbH; screenshot, reconstruction in the 20´s
©ArchitecturaVirtualis GmbH; screenshot: reconstruction around 1900.
Since our anniversary in 2023, they can experience the original interior of the synagogue with the help of virtual reality glasses. Here is a film about the reconstruction.
Video on our youtube channel
Dr. -Ing. Marc Grellert of ArchitecturaVirtualis GmbH (cooperation partner of the Technical University of Darmstadt) has created this work. It is part of an overall project in Germany that reconstructs synagogues destroyed during the Nazi era.
Trude Meyer, née Löwenstein, 15th of August 1924 to 22nd of December 2022
Trude Meyer, née Löwenstein, 15th of August 1924 to 22nd of December 2022
The Roth Rural Synagogue Working Group mourns the loss of its dear friend Trude Meyer, née Löwenstein from Fronhausen, who passed away in San Francisco on 22 December 2022 at the age of 98. Trude had to endure inhuman conditions in the Nazi camps and factories and found the strength to share her experiences with us. For this we are deeply grateful to her. We will miss her warmth and her lively participation in all our activities. Our sympathy goes to her sons and all her relatives.
The Arbeitskreis Landsynagoge Roth mourns the loss of its dear friend Trude Meyer née Löwenstein from Fronhausen, who passed away in San Francisco on 22 December 2022 at the age of 98. Trude had to endure inhuman conditions in the Nazi camps and factories and found the strength to share her experiences with us. For this we are deeply grateful to her. We will miss her warmth and her lively participation in all our activities. Our sympathy goes to her sons and all her relatives.
We publish below the translation of an obituary written by the Meyer family:
2021, We celebrate our birthday: 25 years of the Arbeitskreis Landsynagoge Roth!
Deliberately founded on the first nationwide Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27, 1996, the seven founding members Renate Blöcher, Gerhard Fischer, Harald Händler, Barbara Händler-Lachmann, Dietmar Haubfleisch, Gabriele C. Schmitt and Annegret Wenz-Haubfleisch formulated as the purpose of the association "the preservation of the former synagogue in Weimar/Lahn, village of Roth, and its use as a memorial, museum, place of learning and site of cultural encounters". In 1998, after the building had been restored and could be put to public use, the association concluded a contract of use with the district of Marburg-Biedenkopf as owner and has since been solely responsible for the cultural work in the building.
The main focus of the activities in and around the synagogue can be characterized by the terms commemorative, cultural and educational work. Over the years, a great variety of forms have been developed, sustainable partnerships have been formed and firm cooperations have been entered into, for example with the Jewish Community of Marburg, the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation, the History Workshop Marburg, the Philipps University, similar initiatives in Hesse, the Comprehensive School Niederwalgern, the Ricarda Huch School in Giessen and its partner school Eldad High School in Netanya (Israel), to name but a few. In all these years, special importance was attached to maintaining relations with the survivors of the Shoah in the USA and their continuation with the next generations, which to everyone's delight has succeeded and led to warm-hearted friendships.
A book documenting all these aspects has been published for the anniversary. However, it is not a "classic" chronicle of the association, but reflects the many facets of the association's work in personal texts by survivors and descendants, cooperation partners and friends, members and board members of the association, illustrated with expressive pictures. Taking into account the relations with the friends in the USA, it was published bilingually in German and English. The book is available from the association for 19 euros: “Love Your Neighbor …“. 25 Years of Commemorative, Cultural and Educational Activity in the Rural Synagogue in Roth, ed. by Annegret Wenz-Haubfleisch, Weimar-Roth 2021.
January 2019, Mourning for our dear friend and supporter Walter Roth
On January 19, 2019, Walter Roth passed away in Chicago at the age of 89. The Arbeitskreis Landsynagoge Roth mourns the loss of a friend who accompanied its work with great interest, promoted it and was a good friend to it. With Walter Roth, the last Jewish contemporary witness who was born in Roth has passed away. Walter Roth was born on April 18, 1929, the youngest of three siblings. He was born into an old-established, well-off Jewish family. In 1934, at the tender age of barely five, he already lost his mother Selma to an infection. Soon after, his father found it increasingly difficult to support his family, because as a seed and fertilizer dealer who depended on business with farmers, he was massively persecuted as early as 1935. So he recognized the signs of the times early on, obtained a guarantee from relatives in the U.S. and was able to escape Nazi Germany in 1938 with his second wife Toni and their three children. The family began a new life in Chicago. Here, the former businessman Markus Roth supported his family laboriously as a wage laborer in a slaughterhouse. Over this life hovered the fear for the family members left behind in Germany, all of whom did not survive the Holocaust. The younger generation found it easier to gain a foothold in this country; Walter seized the opportunity to study and became a successful lawyer.
Inauguration of Herbert Roth Square, July 29, 2016
Naming of a square in honour of Herbert Roth
During the ceremony, at the request of the working group, a square near the synagogue will be named in honour of Herbert Roth.
Herbert Roth was a long-time friend of the working group and a bridge builder. Born in Roth in 1923 to Selma and Markus, he emigrated from Nazi Germany to Chicago in 1938 with his parents and younger siblings Irene and Walter. Herbert Roth returned to Roth for the first time in the early 1950s, later with his wife and growing daughters. From the 1980s onwards, he was a frequent and regular visitor.
In 1984, he and his brother Walter donated a memorial stone for the victims of the Shoa in the Jewish cemetery. He cultivated former school friendships, and soon he also made contact with the later founders of the working group. He followed the restoration of the synagogue with great and constant interest, made valuable documents available to the working group and shared his memories with them.
Herbert Roth also established connections with the families of other Rother survivors and thus became a key figure in the long-standing, friendly relationships that the working group has today with the family of his brother Walter and his sister Helen, the Höchster-Wetmore, Höchster-Solovei and Stern families and their descendants.
The Herbert Roth Square commemorates his exemplary work for understanding and peace.