Michael schneeberger from kitzingen has made a name for himself as a meticulous tracker of jewish history in his hometown, the district of kitzingen, in lower franconia and even in bavaria. An exhibition in the old synagogue presented by the forderverein alte synagoge kitzingen in cooperation with the johanna stahl center in wurzburg presents the life’s work of schneeberger (1949-2014) and shows his development. The exhibition was opened on 21. European day of judaic culture opened and is still open until the 27th. September on view daily from 10 a.M. To 5 p.M.
At the opening ceremony, around 50 participants learned how schneeberger came into contact with judaism and tirelessly traveled in jewish footsteps throughout the region. The chairman of the forderverein, margret lother, emphasized that the work of the tracker, who was one of the founders of the forderverein, has always resulted in new connections to living witnesses and their descendants all over the world.
Mayor stefan guntner thanked for the fact that the exhibition can be shown at all in this difficult time, but also warned that the social life must get going again. He did not know schneeberger personally, but was aware of the importance of his work for the town. One indication of this is that contacts still exist with descendants of jews who once lived here.
The director of the johanna stahl center in wurzburg, dr. Rotraud ries, recalled michael schneeberger, who grew up in a protestant family in kitzingen, who in the sixties on his way to school daily passed the synagogue, which was then used as a warehouse and workshop, and was surprised that no one cared about the history of the jews in kitzingen.
His interest in judaism grew, so that he emigrated to israel in 1982. When he returned three years later, he fell so ill that emigration became an illusion. 1986 finally schneeberger converted to judaism.
Suffered from low interest
When the reconstruction of the synagogue was completed in 1993, he intensified his research on the remaining jewish citizens, made countless contacts all over the world and, among many other publications, published the book yiskor, in which he traced the history of the individual families. Research assignments, especially from the USA, were the result. A photographic image of the rodelsee cemetery with all its details, created together with christian reuter, was shown in many cities.
In a film clip, brigitte zalder reports how much her brother michael suffered from the lack of interest among the general public. It was only through his reprinting that the annual commemoration on the 9th anniversary of schneeberger’s death became possible. November to the pogrom night at the synagogue became the rule.
In another film clip, former city councilor renate fabian emphasizes that without michael schneeberger, neither the old synagogue nor the forderverein would have existed. Only in this way was schneeberger often able to point out with melancholy what germany had lost in the way of valuable people and their culture. The ceremony was musically accompanied by the string duo bluhm.