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30.06.2021

News

Templer Cemeteries in Palestine

The Heritage team in Germany, led by Peter Lange and Jörg Struve, has prepared and loaded a wonderful new resource Haifa Cemeterycalled "Historical Ceme­teries Haifa and Jerusalem" on the Tempelgesell­schaft website found under:

History - Historical Cemeteries.

This is a database of all the persons buried in the Haifa and Jerusalem cemeteries (and possibly any gravestones brought there from other Templer cemeteries), listing, amongst other details, birth and death dates, grid references of grave sites within the two cemeteries and photos of graves where available. They have also located and posted plans of the cemetery, including grid references.

Mass grave of Betlehem and Waldheim residents reinterred in HaifaOriginally, every colony in Palestine had its own cemetery. In the years after 1952, the cemeteries of Sarona, Waldheim, Betlehem and Wilhelma were closed down and the mortal remains were reinterred in the cemeteries in Haifa and Jerusalem.

Further work is being done to document the historical graves of Helouan, Nazareth, Beirut, Ramleh and Tiberias. There are also some photos of gravesites in Australia for future development.

Well done and thank you to the Tempelgesell­schaft team for the many hours of work that has gone into preparing such a comprehensive and useful online resource.

Jerusalem cemetery entranceThis should make it much easier for visitors to Israel to locate their Templer relatives’ gravesites in Haifa and Jerusalem.

Doris Frank, Heritage & Culture Focus Group Australia

Further Information

In Australia: Many cemeteries have online databases where you can search for a person’s grave details. Most of them offer a photo service where they will photograph a grave for you (at a cost).

In Germany: Under German law, families lease grave­sites for a specific period of time, usually from 15 to 30 years. If a family is unable or unavailable to renew the lease, the grave’s contents are removed and the gravesite reverts to state ownership and may be reused.

The Find a Grave website has a database of grave­site photos worldwide.

Memorials to those who died in both world wars and those who were buried elsewhere,
 but reinterred in JerusalemThe German War Graves Commission ( Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge) has an online data­base of German war graves in Europe and North Africa.

Dr Norbert Schwake has researched and written a very comprehensive book titled Deutsche Soldatengräber in Israel, listing and detailing the graves in Israel of German soldiers of WWI, with several references to Templer graves.

The Templers and their friends now living in Australia and Germany have brought together and laid to rest the remains of over 1700 of their forebears in the two central cemeteries at Jerusalem and Haifa. They care for these final resting places at considerable expense and are grateful for voluntary donations. Donations can be made either to the Temple Society Australia, or to the Tempelgesellschaft in Deutschland.

Doris Frank

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