Jüdischer Pfad Forchheim

Same rights – same duties within the Empire

Station 4 • War memorial, Hauptstraße 24

The fountain on the town hall square is the central war memorial in Forchheim. With the creation of the German Empire in 1871, the Jewish population were granted equal rights. Many liberal-minded, assimilated Jewish citizens banded together to form the “Central Association for German Citizens of the Jewish Faith”.

At the outbreak of the First World War Jewish men were subject to mobilization. Many regarded it as their patriotic duty to fight for Germany. Many returned home wounded. Four Jewish soldiers from Forchheim died on the battlefield: the brothers Ludwig and Richard Ebert, Ludwig Bauer and Sigmund Heller. Paul Schmidt returned to his home town where he succumbed to his serious wounds.

The Jewish community erected a plaque in honour of their fallen comrades within the synagogue. The granite slab was removed and hidden by two municipal workmen before the synagogue was demolished by the National Socialists on November 10th, 1938. For a long time the plaque was regarded as lost until it was rediscovered in a shed by employees of Forchheim’s Gardens and Parks department. The plaque is now on display in the Pfalzmuseum.

In memory of those who fell in the First World War the town commissioned Georg Leisgang to erect a fountain in 1927. On the associated plaque the names of the Jewish dead are also listed along with their military rank and the year of their death.

The Forchheim town hall square with the war fountain
The Forchheim town hall square with the war fountain