Mapping Jewish life & death in the Zittau region

MAZEWA is an international youth project which centres on the Jewish cemetary in Zittau, a small town located in the borderlands between Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. During two workcamps with volunteers from all over Europe we will approach one of the last authentic historical spaces of Jewish life as a place of digital leaning and remembrance. The first workcamp will take place in September 2020, the second one year later.

A workcamp in the heart of Europe

From 4th to 18th September 2020 we invite young volunteers from Europe to be part of our workcamp about the Jewish cultural heritage in Eastern Saxony.


In September 202 we invite young volunteers from all over Europe to make the Jewish cemetary accessible as a place of digital learning – and to explore the history of life and death of Jews in the Zittau region. We will focus on the Jewish funeral traditions and will find out what a tombstone reveals about a deceased person. We will speak about how funeral culture transforms over time and which impact the Shoah had on these. Although the Jewish cemetery in Zittau is quite small, its tombstones show a variety of different shapes, materials and symbols

We will create a 3D-tour of the cemetery, including the local mourning hall which the National-socialists destroyed in 1938. Trips to Görlitz, Liberec (CZ) and other regional sites are also part of the programme, to find out more about the rich and varied history of Jewish life in what is now the borderlands between Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany.

The Zittau Jewish Cemetery is an exceptional place in an exceptional environment: built and maintained by a small yet thriving Jewish community, defiled and partly destroyed during the Shoah, neglected and violated in the following decades, and mostly forgotten by the local population in the German-Polish-Czech tri-country area. While most traces of Jewish life in the town of Zittau have vanished, the cemetery still exists and has preserved Jewish cultural heritage, mostly in the shape of many a “Mazewa” – traditional headstones.
In a two-week workcamp, we will attempt to revive the heritage of this unique place by bringing it into the digital age.
Together, we will approach the cemetery with methods of heritage interpretation and digital mapping and create a virtual tour of the cemetery. This way, the accesibility of the Jewish cemetery as a place of learning and active remembrance will be increased significantly. The workcamps will help carry the regional heritage of Jewish life into the digital age.

From 4th to 18th September we will revive the heritage of the Jewish cemetery bringing it into the digital age.

To register for our two-week workcamp on Jewish cultural heritage in the Zittau region, follow the links below (depending on your country of residence):

Czech Republic:
United Kingdom:

For all other countries, find your volunteer organisation here:

MAZEWA is a cooperation between the Hillersche Villa gGmbH, Verein Junger Freiwilliger VJF e.V., Hatikva e.V. in Dresden, the Jewish community in Dresden and Liberec (CZ), Besht Yeschiva Dresden e.V. and the city of Zittau.