The UNESCO includes Erfurt buildings in the list of World Heritage Sites.

Die UN-Kulturorganisation Unesco hat das jüdisch-mittelalterliche Erbe in Thüringens Landeshauptstadt Erfurt in die Liste des Weltkulturerbes aufgenommen. Das gab die Unesco in einer Sitzung im saudi-arabischen Riad bekannt. Zur neuen Welterbestätte gehören die Alte Synagoge, ein mittelalterliches Ritualbad, genannt Mikwe, und das Steinerne Haus, ein historisches Wohngebäude in der Erfurter Altstadt.

„I cannot reword“

ErfurtsThe Alte Synagoge, which construction began in 1094, is considered one of the oldest synagogues in Central Europe that has preserved its roof. During a pogrom in 1349, the Jewish quarter surrounding the synagogue was set on fire. Almost all of the approximately 1,000 community members died, and researchers believe that only a few survivors remained, if any. After the attack, the synagogue was initially converted into a warehouse and later used as a restaurant and dance hall from the late 19th century. The city suspects that the building was not destroyed by the Nazis for this reason. In 1998, the city of Erfurt purchased the house and renovated it. Today, it serves as a museum showcasing evidence of Jewish life in medieval Erfurt.

Ramelow fordert Entschlossenheit gegen Antisemitismus

Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Left Party) expressed his delight at the UNESCO decision. „The World Heritage title strengthens the joint efforts of the city and the state to preserve these historical sites and publicly convey their eventful history.“ Therefore, the UNESCO award serves as a reminder once again of the necessity to firmly oppose hatred and violence against Jews at all times. After the announcement by UNESCO, Mayor Andreas Bausewein (SPD) stated that they must and will protect and cherish this treasure like their own eyes.

Der Vorsitzende der jüdischen Landesgemeinde Thüringen, Reinhard Schramm, wertete die Aufnahme ins Welterbe als positives Signal für Jüdinnen und Juden. „Die Gemeindemitglieder werden sich noch mehr zu Hause fühlen“, sagte er. Der Titel bedeute auch eine Stärkung der Landesgemeinde.

„I cannot reword“

This is the second time that Jewish cultural heritage in Germany has been awarded the World Heritage title. In 2021, the so-called SchUM sites in Mainz, Speyer, and Worms were included. This is the 52nd World Heritage title for Germany and the fifth for Thuringia. Previously, Thuringia had the Wartburg, the Bauhaus sites in Weimar, Classical Weimar, and the Hainich National Park with World Heritage status.

Der Bewerbung gingen fünfzehn Jahre lange Vorbereitungs- und Forschungsarbeiten voraus. In Erfurt erwartete man die Verkündung mit Spannung. Etwa zweihundert Gäste hatten sich im Festsaal des Erfurter Rathauses versammelt, um die Unesco-Sitzung live auf zwei Monitoren zu verfolgen.

Jericho als Welterbe der Palästinenser

In addition, the ruins near the ancient city of Jericho have been recognized as a World Heritage site for the Palestinians by UNESCO, which has been criticized by Israel. The UN cultural organization voted to include the site of Tell es-Sultan on the list of World Heritage sites. A spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Israel sees this decision as „another indication of the cynical use of the UNESCO organization by the Palestinians and as a politicization of the organization.“

In addition, the UNESCO has declared the Persian caravanserais in Iran as a World Heritage Site. The former inns along caravan routes have been added to the list of World Heritage Sites. Today, caravanserais in Iran are often tourist attractions due to their distinctive architectural style. „Caravanserais were inns on the roadside that provided accommodation, food, and water to caravans, pilgrims, and other travelers,“ writes the UNESCO about the new World Heritage Site.

The World Heritage Committee will decide on a total of 50 nominations until September 25th. Only one application came from Germany this year, from Erfurt.