Highlight at the end of the year

Guide News

David Sanger, chief correspondent of the New York Times, visited the homeland of his ancestors. He is one of the best-known American journalists: he has won numerous prizes for his journalistic work, including the Pulitzer Prize several times with his team. He is currently living and working in Berlin for two months on behalf of his newspaper. His ancestors lived in Obernbreit, so he took the time to visit the "small Franconian village" with his wife and son, where descendants of the Sänger family had a thriving textile business until 1933. They were deported from here in 1942.

Two members of the association guided the family through the town and the former synagogue. The tour began at the newly erected stele, where the guests were moved and stood in mourning in front of the names of the Sänger brothers who had been so brutally torn from their homeland. They were the last of the generation of Sängers in Obernbreit.

Since another relative wrote a family chronicle of the Sänger family in 1935, which is an important source for our knowledge of the synagogue and the customs of Jewish families at the beginning of the 20th century, the programme included an extensive visit to the former synagogue as well as a tour of the town to the places mentioned in the "Sängerchonik": the houses of the shechita, the Jewish school and the house where the pre-cooked meals were kept warm during Sabbath prayers. And, of course, an extensive photo session in front of the house where the Sängers' business was located until the 1930s, even though nothing of its former state can still be recognised.

At a joint lunch, the focus was on the present - and the Obernbreiters were the learners who gained a first-hand insight into American politics, especially as David Sanger published an article in December on America's view of the war in Ukraine and is a fellow student of U. S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken.

According to the Sanger family, the journey from Berlin to Obernbreit and their stay in the homeland of their ancestors was a lasting experience, for which they expressed their thanks emotionally and eloquently.

However, the visit was also a sign for the association, its members and supporters of how important it is that Jews can feel at home in Germany, despite recurring anti-Semitic hostility. For the association, it is a mission to continue working to ensure that the history of the Jews in Obernbreit is not forgotten.