Jewish Cemetery In Mackenheim, France Goes Digital

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An innovative project is under way to include the historic Jewish cemetery in Mackenheim, near Marckolsheim in eastern France’s Alsace region.  In an interactive cemetery digitalization project that will enable visitors to access maps, translations of epitaphs, information on people buried there and other information on the cemetery and its graves by scanning bar codes affixed to the tombstones and cemetery signage.

The cemetery, known as the Judengarten, or Jewish garden, was founded in the early 17th century and is listed as a historic monument. Its oldest legible gravestone is from 1669.

The news web site L’Alsace reports  reports that the project is being carried out by a company called Com’Est which advises municipal governments on various administrative projects and has a section devoted to cemetery infrastructure and management. The Com’Est website has a video  showing how the interactive bar code scanning would work. The Mackenheim Jewish cemetery would be the France’s first Jewish cemetery to utilize this interactive technology.

L’Alsace reports that the  Com’Est bar code project will enable visitors  to access a web site under development that will include a database on the cemetery put together by Frowald Gil Huttenmeister, a retired professor at Tübingen University in Germany, who has documented, surveyed and written widely about Jewish cemeteries in Germany and translated the epitaphs of more than 400 gravestones in Mackenheim. (via Jewish Heritage Europe, photo credit: Roland Dreyer, L’Alsace).

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