UNESCO lists Yiddish and Ashkenazi historical sites as World Heritage Sites

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 UNESCO inscribes Yiddish and Ashkenazi historical sites on the World Heritage List

On Wednesday, a ceremony was held in Germany to celebrate the first German-Jewish sites to receive UNESCO World Heritage status.
years ago, Yiddish first began to develop. UNESCO has recognized Jewish buildings in Speyer, Worms and Mainz as cultural heritage.

“The unique community centers and cemeteries have influenced Ashkenazi culture and are directly related to the creative achievements of the first Ashkenazi scholars”, — explained in the UNESCO list.

President Frank Walter-Steinmeier visited a synagogue in Mainz on Wednesday. He was joined by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, the daughter of a French Jew of Moroccan origin who currently serves as an adviser to King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

“Until July 27, 2021, there were 49 World Heritage Sites in our country, from Roman Trier to the old Hanseatic cities of Stralsund and Wismar, from Aachen Cathedral to Wartburg Castle near Eisenach. The list reflected the diversity of culture and nature, but there was a big gap in it: there were no Jewish cultural monuments”, — Steinmeier said at the ceremony.

Steinmeier stressed that Jewish history in Germany extends far beyond the Holocaust. The cities of Speyer, Mainz and Worms were the sites of large-scale massacres of Jews during the Crusades and the bubonic plague of the 14th century, but they were also home to some of the greatest leaders of European Jewry.

“Jews have been humiliated for centuries , excluded, deprived of rights, persecuted, killed — even before the Nazis almost completely destroyed Jewish life in Germany and Europe, ”, — the president said. “Monuments and tombstones in Speyer, Worms and Mainz tell about the deep roots of the Jews in our country, about the flowering of their culture, about self-affirmation and emancipation, about the times of peaceful coexistence with the Christian majority.”

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