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German Jewish Sites Vie for Heritage List

For the first time ever, four Jewish sites are among the historical venues throughout Germany competing for placement on a list that Germany will propose to UNESCO for recognition as World Heritage sites.

The 24 German historical sites will be submitted to a special committee charged with deciding which ones the country will recommend to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for inclusion on its World Heritage list. Among the 37 German sites already on the worldwide list, none are Jewish; nor are any of the 10 additional German spots that are currently awaiting UNESCO approval.

One of the Jewish sites under German assessment is the Weissensee Cemetery in Berlin, the largest complete Jewish cemetery in Europe, with 115,000 graves. Opened in 1880, the cemetery sprawls over an expansive plot of land totaling some 420 dunams (about 105 acres); among those buried there are spiritual, cultural and scientific leaders, as well as numerous famous rabbis.

Hamburg is also submitting a cemetery to UNESCO: the Jewish Cemetery in Altona, which was erected in 1611 and is the oldest Portuguese Jewish cemetery in Europe. Jews from Portugal, Germany and Eastern Europe are buried there.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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