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Making a Connection  
Two websites connect:
ClevelandJewishHistory.net and The Lost Jews of Unsleben

This is the story of a web connection that took years to establish. In December 2017 I received an email from a professional genealogist who was researching the unknown dead among Jewish soldiers in the WWI German army. He invited me to contact him. His email included a link to a German website that I've never seen before. I replied "Sorry, but I don't study European Jewish history and I can't be of any help to you. Nor can I remember doing anything that would warrant this German website putting my name and a link to this website on its Credits page". The next morning I remembered and shared my recollection with the genealogist.

Here's the story. In 2007 I added pages on a line of descendants of Simson Thorman, who came here from Unsleben Bavaria, through William Joseph. Then I "Googled" Unsleben Jewish. I found a small website with a history of more than 300 years of Jewish life in Unsleben. I emailed the professor who authored the history saying that many of our early Jewish settlers had come from Unsleben. Of course my email included the link to these pages. The professor replied with a cordial email: "Thanks for sharing this information."

When I followed the link I received I found that the website I had seen in 2007 had grown, been transformed and renamed. Now it was rich with information and visually "hi tech".

Its history pages showed Simpson Thormann (his surname in Unsleben, and told of the role of Unsleben Jews in the founding of Jewish Cleveland. There was also an image of the Alsbacher Document. The Credits page linked to this website.

Arnold Berger  December 19, 2017

The Lost Jews of Unsleben       www.judaica-unsleben.de

The site was developed after 2015 by a team of German and Israeli researchers, students from a high school in Germany and one in Israel, and technologists at Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem. Yad Vashem provided a list of Holocaust victims from Unsleben

Recommended: the history of Jewish life in Unsleben. It's a story of a town which after emigration, movement to German cities, and the Shoah is now with no Jews.

The site includes a display of tombstones in the Jewish cemetery, organized by surname, with images (but no years of birth and death). There is an Alsbacher (Moses Alsbacher led the group that came here in 1839) and a Klein (Rachel, later Regina, Klein, the bride-to-be of Simpson Thorman, who also came in the Alsbacher group).

A virtual tour lets you walk through the old cemetery, viewing it from many angles. A map of the town highlights the homes once owned by Jewish families.

The Credits page has a link to these pages. It is a pleasure to reciprocate: Visit the Lost Jews of Unsleben website.

A view of the Jewish Cemetery in Unsleben (Bavaria) Germany
Here lie many who signed the Alsbacher Document and stayed behind.
Source: The Virtual Tour on The Lost Jews of Unsleben website

Learn more on these pages:

  Our page of photos of the Jewish cemetery in Unsleben.
  Simpson Thorman and his descendants
  The Alsbacher Document - an ethical testament written in Unsleben