University of Bayreuth, Press Release 189/2021 - 22. December 2021
Interactive website about Jewish life in Bayreuth
Just in time for the end of the commemorative year "1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany", a website is going online that provides virtual insights into Jewish life in Bayreuth. It was developed by students of the University of Bayreuth together with the historian Adrian Roßner and Felix Gothart, chairman of the Jewish Community of Bayreuth.
"Shalom, Bayreuth!" offers excursions through Jewish city culture - whether on the mobile phone or on the home computer, acoustically, cinematically, and in 3D. This offering was developed as part of the seminar "Digital Teaching in the Classroom", in which student teachers deal with the possibilities of digitalization at school. Building on this, the project offered a suitable opportunity to put the knowledge acquired into practice straight away. A total of 19 students who took the seminar volunteered to create the content. The work lasted a good five weeks in total, and took place during the summer. "An important goal was not always to connote Jewish life only in connection with the Holocaust and the Nazi era. We wished to make it clear that there was a completely normal Jewish life before the Hitler regime, and that it has re-established itself in Bayreuth after the dark period."
Via the web address https://www.juedisches-leben.uni-bayreuth.de/de/app/ places where Jewish life takes place are marked. Notes signal the "audio paths" under which, for example, interviews can be heard. The 360-degree tours are a special feature: by clicking on the corresponding cube on the map, a viewer opens, allowing visitors to look around, for example, the synagogue or the Jewish cemetery. All associated texts can also be read aloud. In addition, it is possible to clamp the smartphone into a "CardHop" device and then actually move around in the digital world unhindered. The device registers head movements and thus controls the viewer.
The "Shalom, Bayreuth!" page is to be constantly expanded with the help of students. For example, "virtual stumbling blocks" are to be listed: A map of addresses where Jewish families lived and worked in Bayreuth before being expelled and murdered by the Nazis. "With this, we remember these people and show that they were torn from the centre of society," says Felix Gothart, chairman of the Jewish Community, who advised students in their work on "Shalom, Bayreuth!". "The website is to be understood as an invitation to those interested to learn about Jewish religion and culture in a contemporary and innovative manner." The city and city marketing of Bayreuth are also convinced by the result of the students' work and will also contribute to increasing the visibility of the novel offer for citizens but also for tourist use.
About the commemorative year:
The City, the University and the Jewish Community of Bayreuth filled the commemorative year "1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany" with life, hosting numerous events and activities. Just one highlight of the events organised by the University of Bayreuth was a discussion and lecture event at the University. Guests included Dr Ludwig Spaenle, former Minister of State, Member of the Bavarian State Parliament, Commissioner of the Bavarian State Government for Jewish Life and Against Anti-Semitism, the Consul General of the State of Israel, Sandra Simovich, as well as Bayreuth's Head Mayor Thomas Ebersberger and Felix Gothart, Chairman of the Jewish Community of Bayreuth. The keynote speech was given by Prof. Dr. Fania Oz-Salzberger from the University of Haifa. A lecture series, lectures in the series "Bayreuther Stadtgespräche" and a weekly series in cooperation with the Nordbayerischer Kurier rounded off the diverse programme. Much of the content can still be accessed at www.juedisches-leben.uni-bayreuth.de even after the year of remembrance.