Vanishing Jews of Alsace

This exhibit was shown at the Carl Cherry Center for the Arts in Carmel, CA. Its Executive Director, Robert Reese, writes:

"I have worked closely with scores of artists. I have admired and been moved by the work of many of them, but on artist who continues to stand out is Diana Mara Henry."

Elizabeth Holtzman writes: "I was very moved by your photos of Alsace and hope they can be seen -- because they deserve to be -- by a larger audience."

 

 

Roger Weil, right, at the gates of the graveyard in Hochfelden,

left untouched during World War II.

 

 

 

 

Below, he tells the family story to his American cousin, Carl Henry.

In 1985, the Bouxwiller synagogue had fallen into grave disrepair.

Gilbert Weil, holding plans, is the native born architect who later restored it and

created a magnificent jewel of a museum of the

Jewish Heritage in Alsace (Musée judéo-alsacien) that can be visited today.

 

 

 

 

 

At right, Carl Henry, left, and Henry Levy,

not - that we know- related,

visit the synagogue in Ingwiller.

 

 

Most of the little towns in Alsace had a couple of hundred Jewish inhabitants  before World War II.

Today only a dozen at most remain there.

 

In 1985,there were less than ten men

who remained in Hochfelden

to study together, not enough

to make a minyan for daily services.

Roger Weil, at 65 years of age,

was the youngest. Today,

Roger Weil is gone and

the others too, no doubt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roger leading the way up the steps to the

Hochfelden synagogue, where he kept the lights on.

 

 

Below, Roger's home for five generations was marked with a Jewish star

by collaborators, in 1940,to tell the Germans which were Jewish homes.

At right, below, Roger's mother, Cora Weil, bids her visitors adieu.

 

 

 

All photographs Copyright © Diana Mara Henry / dianamarahenry.com

"As Allied troops landed in Normandy in 1944, members of the local French resistance in the small town of Saint-Amand-Montrond embarked on an ill-fated attempt to liberate their town....Resistance forces fook and subsequently executed hostages; their opponents, the milice- collaborationist French police - and German soldiers rounded up 70 Jewish adults and children in retaliation and put them to a horrible death..."  ( from the dust jacket of the US edition, A French Tragedy, published by University Press of New England

The martyrs' corpses being winched from thewells where they were dumped after the victims were shot.This is how our relatives died, having excaped from Alsace and lived peacefully throughout the war. Only Roger Weil, who was in the Maquis (Resistance) and his mother Cora, who ran away, survived.


Last Updated: January 9, 2011