Jewish Community OHZ (engl.)

During the 19th Century, Osterholz and Scharmbeck became significant Jewish strongholds within the Elbe-Weser triangle. At the beginning of the 20th century, members of the community included merchants, doctors, decorated war veterans and even local historians, respected by many in the town. The story of their humiliation, expulsion and almost total annihilation between 1933 and 1945 is a lesson in human weakness, tolerance and moral courage.

most injustice begins on a small scale – which one can combat with courage and conviction
Roman Herzog (former German president) May 1997

A case in point being the fate and conduct of Wilhelm Aron, the only Jew who returned back to his home town after these events.
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Jewish graveyard

Plan of tombs (incomplete)
The Jewish graveyard on “Klosterkamp” (location more photographs) dates back to the mid 1700’s, over 100 years prior to the construction of the neighbouring railway line. The last burial took place in 1939. As a result of the desecration by the Nazi’s, it is not possible to determine the exact number of graves present. According to the Heidelberger Zentralarchiv zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland there are 74 gravestones. This information was provided following research undertaken by Klaus-Peter Schulz in 1968-69. In 1997 Klaus Beer documented 71 individual gravestones as well as 2 family tomb stones for 76 plots. In 2000, there were 2 missing gravestones (source: Beer). Other sources refer to 75 graves dating from between 1854 and 1935 (source: Obenaus).
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Davidsohn (family)

department store Davidsohn in Scharmbeck
Poststraße with department store Davidsohn (photo: Bob Davidson, courtesy of Jonathan Strauss)
The Davidsohns were a Jewish family who lived in Osterholz and Scharmbeck for almost 200 years.

They were highly respected members of the local community and included merchants as well as local politicians. The J. D. Davidsohn store on Poststraße was one of the town’s landmarks for over 160 years. Initially just selling textiles, the shop developed into a department store selling a full assortment of products.

Under Nazi rule, those members of the family that remained in the town were persecuted and deprived of their rights. At least four family members were killed in concentration camps. In many ways their historical contribution to the local community, as well as their terrible fate, is similar to that of the Cohen family (for example Clara and Siegmund Cohen), also members of the local Jewish community and subjects of an impressive book written by one of their descendants (Beer K: Ein Denkmal für Familie Cohen). As far as we are aware, there is no comparable historical documentation regarding the Davidsohn family. Their history can only be described piece meal. This presentation was facilitated by significant contributions from Bob Davidson in the US and Jonathan Strauss from Switzerland, who provided the photographs and, assisted by Klaus-Peter Schulz, gathered lots of information about their ancestors.
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Teufelsmoor (engl.)

I’m sorry, there is no complete english version of this website. Anyway, with a lot of help from Jonathan Strauss we did translate a few articles since Oktober 2010, you’ll find a list here.

This site is about the Teufelsmoor, which literally translates to devil’s bog, an area of outstanding historical and scenic interest as long as you ask enthusiastic residents like me. I launched this site back in 2005 as a kind of digital notebook for my impressions and details about people, landscape and history gathered over the years from all kinds of sources. When we moved in 1999, I was attracted by the light, the openness and the cosyness of this region from the very first moment. I translated one of the main articles about the Teufelsmoor itself to give you an idea of what this is about. Please feel free to contact me (see Impressum) in case of any further interest. Cheers!

Early morning in the midst of the Teufelsmoor
The term „Teufelsmoor“ is ambiguous, most commonly applied to a landscape in Lower Saxony surrounding the little river Hamme just north of Bremen. As there is no binding definition for Teufelsmoor, the reported size varies between 20 x 20 km and 500-600 km². „Teufelsmoor“ in this extended sense is nowadays used as a brand to promote tourism in the region.

On the other hand, Teufelsmoor is well defined as the name of a small village, first documented as „Düwelsmoor“ in the 14th Century and now part of the city of Osterholz-Scharmbeck. This village is situated at the heart of the „Teufelsmoor in the strict sense“, an area north of the Teufelsmoorstraße including the Günnemoor, the Torfkanal, the Niedersandhauser Moor, the Hamberger Moor and the Oenersmoor and the stretching valleys of the upper Beek inbetween them.
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