The city of Unna has two Jewish cemeteries. The first cemetery is no longer recognizable today, it is located roughly between Morgenstrasse and Bahnhofstrasse and was in use until 1853/54. The second Jewish cemetery on Massener Straße / Beethovenring was founded more than 150 years ago and was then in continuous use from 1854 to 1942. The owner is the regional association of Jewish communities in Westphalia-Lippe.
Over 160 old gravestones line the main path, some of the inscriptions in German or Hebrew are difficult to read over the years. The tombstone of Helene Culp, who was the first to be buried in the Jewish cemetery on April 29, 1854, is still there. Jewish graves remain forever, the eternal rest of the dead is very important in Judaism. That is why Jewish cemeteries are also called “Beit Olam” (Hebrew: house of eternity). It is unusual to plant graves, instead visitors place small stones on top of the gravestone. Men must wear a hat when entering the cemetery.
The “haKochaw” congregation rededicated the cemetery on October 27, 2020. The cemetery is no longer just a memorial, but also a “House of Life” – one of the other names for a Jewish cemetery.