The Jewish Cemetery of Ichenhausen (some 10 km south of Guenzburg, 10 km north of Huerben/Krumbach and 25 km west of Ulm) in the Bavarian part of Swabia, as it is said goes back to 1567. The oldest preserved grave marker however is believed to be that of Chaim bar Shmuel from Adar 5505 (February 1745).
The cemetery was extended about 1730 and 1810 and slopes upward in 8 to 13 rows of grave markers. The Gerstle family obviously was the predominant one in Ichenhausen. At the foot of the hill outside the graveyard runs a rail line called the “Jew slide” (Juden-Rutsch) by the (older) locals. But beyond any doubt the name also would go together with the situation of the old grave markers on the partly steep hill. Some stones already are smashed and their fragments lie all over the place. Dozens of tomb stones – still standing, but in danger of collapsing – now are marked by red-white barrier tape, but there also are groups of stones already smashed by an huge toppled tree.
A common allegation (source is unknown) says that there are 7000 or 8000 graves at the cemetery. All three parts of the cemetery are almost entirely occupied. At the oldest part in the middle there of course a huge gaps, but since the cemetery was extended two times to the left and the right, it is clear that all places were occupied. About 950 grave markers or fragments are left, what is a high rate. We cannot assume that the hills arose because it was buried in several layers one upon the other. So unless no other older parts of the cemetery had “disappeared” outside the chain-link fenced area, for example under an nearby miniature golf course – there of course were no more than 1200 or 1300 graves at the cemetery.
At the entry there is a Tahara house. According to a witness it was built in 1934 or 1935 by the “Jewish Youth of Ichenhausen” a group not mentioned by name apart from that. Inside the rotunda crowned by a conical roof there is a Hebrew inscription dedicated by survivors to the 6 million victims of fascism, the compatriots of the people of Israel murdered in the time from 1939 to 1945:
לזכרון לקדושי העם
שנפלו חלל ע”י הפשיזם
6 יזכר עם ישראל את
1939 – 1945 מיליון הקרבנות