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Goeppingen celebrates the 150th anniversary of Rabbi Dr. Aron Taenzer's birth

150 years ago on January 30th 1871 Aron Taenzer was born. After first stays as Rabbi in Hohenems and Merano he came in 1907 to Goeppingen where he lived for thirty years and left his mark on the town in many respects: not only as rabbi of the Jewish community, but also as founder of the town library, as local historian, as public orator, as journalist and literary figure. Goeppingen celebrates his round anniversary with a long row of events. The start will be on time for his birthday a film about his life and work. 

Between Freihofgymnasium and Uhlandschule there is a neat house with yellow tiles and grey window shutters: the Rabbi-Taenzer-Haus, named after the most important rabbi in the town's history, Dr. Aron Taenzer. Where today the tax office and the cultural department have their offices, Taenzer lived with his wife and six children from 1907 till his death thirty years later – interrupted only through his service as rabbi in the military in World War One. Then the house stood next to a wonderful historic synagogue which was burned down by the National Sozialists in the Germany-wide pogrom night in 1938. To experience that Aron Taenzer was spared by his death on February 26th 1937 like the beginning of systematic deportation and assassination of Jews, whose victim Taenzer's wife Bertha became in 1943.

Next to his position as rabbi, Aron Taenzer engaged himself with full heart in education for the people. He initiated, founded and led  almost twenty years the first lending library in Goeppingen; he gave well-received lectures – for example on Goethe's Faust and Nietsche's Zarathustra – for the Verein fuer Kunst und Wissenschaft  (Club for Art and Science) founded 1927 and tirelessly carried out research about the history of the Jews in Jebenhausen and Goeppingen and published his studies in 1927 in a book. What is less known is that Aron Taenzer wrote three stage plays, a fourth one was unfinished.

Birthday celebrations

For his 150th birthday the Cultural Department as well as the Archives and the Museems in cooperation with the City Library, the City Marketing, the Stolperstein Initiative e.V., the Haus Lauchheimer e.V. and Filstalwelle are planning a lot of events which look into the different facettes of Taenzer's personality.

Film Opening Night for the Anniversary

Just in time for the birthday evening a film about Aron Taenzer has been shown. …

The virtual event from Hohenems was shown on Saturday, January 30th at 19:30 hours on the YouTube-Channel of the Jewish Museum Hohenems: www.youtube.com/user/jmhohenems

More events in the Taenzer Year

In April and May: two readings of historical documents on Aron and Bertha Taenzer by Claudia Liebenau-Meyer – hopefully in the Stadtbibliothek

In June: a reading from Taenzer's literary work Open Air on the Synagogenplatz

In July: City Guide Margit Haas leads through Goeppingen „Rabbi Dr.Aron Taenzer“

In the Fall: there will be a day tour to Hohenems led by Wolfram Hosch and Dr. Karl-Heinz Ruess.

In November: a Concert Reading of topical Israeli Literature

A flyer with all the events will be published soon.

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends!

The “Stumbling Stones Initiative Göppingen”  is made up of a group of people who are interested in local history. We work as volunteers researching the lives and fates of citizens of Göppingen county who were expelled or murdered by the Nazis. They were people who were ‘racially’ persecuted, socially ostracized, political opponents, victims of euthanasia and gay men.

After completing the research, we then ask Cologne artist Gunter Demnig to create the Stumbling Stones and install them in front of the former residences of the victims. Students from local schools then describe their lives during the dedication ceremony. The Initiative also arranges for the financing of the Stumbling Stones and appreciates any sponsorships. After the installation of a Stumbling Stone on public land, it then becomes the property of the respective community.

We would like to thank all individuals, local authorities and companies who have supported the Stumbling Stones project and our Initiative and who continue to do so. As a non-profit organization, we can provide receipts for donations.

A special thanks goes to contemporary witnesses for sharing their memories and memorabilia.

Even though the fates of many of the victims from Göppingen county have already been documented, the task of the Stumbling Stones Initiative is not yet complete. The biographical texts are continuously being supplemented and updated. At the end of the texts, there is a space for you to send us any recommendations for additions as well as any comments. We can also be reached by e-mail or phone.