08 June 2017

Meeting Friedrich Schiller Again in Sibiu (2,140 km)

(Sibiu, 04.06.2017 - 05.06.2017) The first stage of my ongoing motorcycle ride to Romania led to the "Schiller Town" of Marbach am Neckar. Five days and 1733 kilometers later, my first destination in Romania is Sibiu, which does its best to carry on the Friedrich Schiller myth. From my hotel room I have a superb view on Schiller Square with the Schiller Monument at the corner.

A few steps away, passing the building of the Romanian National Archives, Sibiu District Office, we have the opportunity to visit the Schiller Bookstore top-located on Large Square.

No doubt about, a certain German cutural tradition still persists, but what about the Jewish heritage?  Nobody is more qualified to answer this question than Julie Dawson, project director and researcher for JBAT Jewish Bukovina and Transylvania Archival Survey and additionally author of the Jewish Bukovina and Transylvania Blog. By tagging "Sibiu" we get most enlightening blog posts as f. i. Julie's posting on "The old Jewish cemetery in Sibiu".

Julie Dawson wrote in July 2013: "Earlier this week we went by the 'old' Jewish cemetery in Sibiu to see its condition and check whether German was being used on the headstones (it was). I say 'old' because relatively speaking this cemetery is quite new for Eastern Europe - the earliest stones date only to the mid-19th century, when Jews were first granted residence rights for the city. You wouldn’t know this though, looking at the stones. They are in some of the worse shape I have seen and the cemetery itself is the most overgrown cemetery within a municipal area I have encountered." Four years later nothing has changed, at least not for the better!?

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