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The Jewish Community of Gurs

Gurs internment camp

The Gurs camp was an internment camp built in France at Gurs near Oloron-Sainte-Marie in the Basses-Pyrénées (currently Pyrénées-Atlantiques) department by the French government of Édouard Daladier between March 15 and April 25 1939 to intern people fleeing Spain after the victory of the Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War. 

Following the armistice of June 22, 1940 , signed with Germany by the French government of Pétain , the camp was used as a mixed internment camp to accommodate Jews of all nationalities - except French - captured and deported by the Nazi regime in countries under its control (Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands). Nearly 4,000 Jews were transferred from Gurs to the Drancy camp between August 6, 1942 and March 3, 1943. They were subsequently deported to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and almost all were murdered there.

Place Type:
כפר
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183903
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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Natan Finkelstein (1922-1943), member of the youth organization Bnei Akiva (Bachad)-Belgium, born on September 26, 1922 in Sanok, Poland. His father, Mordechai and his mother, Yocheved, arrived in Belgium, in August 1931 and lived at 4, Milisstraat, Antwerp, Belgium.

Nathan studied at the Tachkemoni School and in the "Shaarei Torah" yeshiva that belonged to the Shomrei Hadass congregation, later at the Handelschool (a trade school for commerce) in Antwerp, Belgium. Nathan was an outstanding student, first of his class. He worked in the fur trade.

The Bnei Akiva (Bachad) youth organization in Belgium was founded in 1933, and was a very important youth organization in the life of the Belgian Jews in the years before and during the Shoah. They were active even in the yeas 1940-1942, when Belgium was occupied by the Nazis. When their activities came to an end, some of the members joined the agricultural Hachshara ("training camp") in Bomal, Belgium, with the hope that one day they will be able to immigrate to the Land of Israel and live there as farmers.

Finkelstein, Nathan was arrested on June 23, 1940 and was incarcerated in the Brens camp, from there he was transferred on July 11, 1940 to Argeles/mer and from there to the concentration camps in Gurs and Drancy.  From there he was  deported to Maidanek Nazi death camp on May 6, 1943, with Transport 51I. He never returned.

...........................................................................

This biography was originally published in the book The story of a Memorial, Bnei Akiva-Tikvatenu, Antwerp, in the Holocaust, edited by Jacques I. Offen and Salomon Hauser, published by Shamayim LTD, Israel 2010, and was recorded in Beit Hatfutsot's databases, courtesy of the authors.

David Stern (1924-1944), member of the youth organization Bnei Akiva (Bachad)-Belgium, born on September 2, 1923 in Antwerp, Belgium. His father, Isaac and his mother Myriam nee Teitelbaum, lived on 9, Stierstraat, Antwerp, Belgium. 

They had four children: Charles (see separate entry Stern Charles), David, Adele Grun, and Gusti Fuchs, who both survived the war.

David studied in a public elementary school, then at the Athenee Royale public high school in Antwerp, Belgium. Later he was registered for the training farm in Bomal, Belgium.

The Bnei Akiva (Bachad) youth organization in Belgium was founded in 1933, and was a very important youth organization in the life of the Belgian Jews in the years before and during the Shoah. They were active even in the years 1940-1942, when Belgium was occupied by the Nazis. When their activities came to an end, some of the members joined the agricultural Hachshara ("training camp") in Bomal, Belgium, with the hope that one day they will be able to immigrate to the Land of Israel and live there as farmers.

Stern was active in the French Resistance (FTPF). While active in the French Resistance he wrote a letter to Lucien Hauser (see separate entry Hauser Lucien). David was arrested by the Germans and interned in the Gurs camp,  France, from November 1942 to December 1942, from there he was transferred to Chateauneuf camp, France. He was killed in an incident on July 8, 1944 in the town of Vollore-Montagne, near Thiers, France.

On August 4, 1947 his family brought his body for burial in the Jewish cemetery of Antwerp in Putte, Holland.

...........................................................................

This biography was originally published in the book The story of a Memorial, Bnei Akiva-Tikvatenu, Antwerp, in the Holocaust, edited by Jacques I. Offen and Salomon Hauser, published by Shamayim LTD, Israel 2010, and was recorded in Beit Hatfutsot's databases, courtesy of the authors.

Bühl 

A city in the district of Rastatt in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1579; peak Jewish population: 301 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 72

Buehl’s Jews had established a prayer room by 1723. They inaugurated a synagogue with a mikveh in 1823, and opened a cemetery in 1833. Between 1827 and 1937, Buehl was home to a regional rabbinate. The community operated a Jewish school between 1830 and 1876. During the 1850s, Rabbi Leopold Schott introduced the congregation to Reform measures by permitting the inclusion of a harmonium and a choir. The diminished community of 1933 was still employing a teacher and maintaining a chevra kadisha, a women’s association and a charity association. In 1938, on the morning before Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue was set on fire: the interior was largely destroyed, and ritual objects were stolen; youths shattered the rabbinate’s windows and damaged Jewish-owned stores. By 1940, 21 Buehl Jews had fled the country; 13 had left for other German cities. Twenty-eight were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France in October 1940, and an 87-year-old woman was deported to Theresienstadt in September 1942. At least 27 Buehl Jews perished in the Shoah. The arsonist responsible for the destruction of the synagogue was later sentenced to five years in prison. At the site, which now accommodates an ice cream parlor, a memorial plaque was unveiled in 1983.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

GEMMINGEN 

A town in the district of Heilbronn in Baden-Wuerttemberg, in Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1644; peak Jewish population: 291 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 39

The Jewish community of Gemmingen constituted 23% of the local population in 1864. In 1727, the community was given permission to build a prayer room in a Jewish residence. A synagogue was opened at Schwaigerner in 1821, but the building quickly deteriorated and was replaced, in 1887, by a new house of worship (built at the same location). Beginning in 1819, the community conducted burials in Eppingen. A Jewish elementary school, opened in the 1830s, was shut down in 1876 together with all confessional schools in Baden. Gemmingen also had a mikveh. In 1933, the 39 Jews who lived in Gemmingen maintained a charity association. The community was disbanded in July 1938, not long after which, on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), rioters vandalized the synagogue’s interior, smashed its windows and doors, and threw out its furniture and ritual objects. The municipality later appropriated the building. Twelve Jews moved to Gemmingen during the Nazi period, and two Jewish children were born in the town. By way of contrast, 21 local Jews emigrated, 26 relocated inside Germany, nine died in Gemmingen, and five, the last, were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. At least 49 Gemmingen Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was torn down in 1975/76.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

ADELSHEIM

A small town in northern Baden-Württemberg, about 30 km north of Heilbronn, Germany.

First Jewish presence: Middle Ages; peak Jewish population: 70 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 35

Although Jews had lived in Adelsheim during the Middle Ages and founded a congregation there in the 17th century, their numbers were limited until the beginning of the 1800s. Records suggest that the seventeenth-century community conducted services in a shul (built on the second floor of a house on Torgasse). From the middle of the 19th century until 1889, the congregation prayed in a synagogue at 27 Turmgasse. This synagogue was sold in 1889/90, when a new house of worship was inaugurated at 1 Tanzbergstrasse/Untere Austrasse; the grand Duke of Baden facilitated the process by providing the community with a grant. Local Jews also maintained a mikveh, a school and a cemetery, the last of which was consecrated in 1889 and shared with the communities of Sennfeld and Korb.

In 1933, Adelsheim was home to 35 Jewish citizens, 20 of whom emigrated from Germany as a result of the anti-Jewish boycott. Later, on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue’s interior was destroyed and the Torah scrolls were burned in public. The last eight Jews of Adelsheim were deported to Gurs, France, in October, 1940; all died either in Gurs concentration camp, in other French camps or, later, in Auschwitz. In 1939, the municipality appropriated the synagogue. The building was used as a youth club after World War II and later for agricultural purposes. A memorial plaque was unveiled there in 2005.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz

RANDEGG

A village in the municipality of Gottmadingen in the Konstanz district in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1656; peak Jewish population: 251 in 1849; Jewish population in 1933: 62

The Jewish community of Randegg employed rabbis throughout most of its existence. Randegg’s yeshiva, founded in the mid-18th century, earned regional renown. In 1810, the community decided to replace its 17th-century synagogue with a new house of worship near Hauptstrasse; the new synagogue housed a library, a schoolroom and quarters for a teacher who also served as shochet and chazzan. Randegg’s cemetery, consecrated in the 17th century, was located at Gewann Floezler. In 1933, three Jewish schoolchildren studied religion in Randegg. A chevra kadisha, a women’s association and a charity association were active in the town. All Jewish-owned businesses had closed by 1938. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), an SS commando placed the mayor under house arrest before blowing up the synagogue; the explosion destroyed the building, its contents (including approximately ten Torah scrolls) and the adjacent rabbinate building. The mayor resigned in protest. Thirty local Jews emigrated, nine relocated within Germany and five died in Randegg. The remaining 17 Jews, together with 11 from Villingen (an affiliated community), were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. At least 42 Jews originally from Randegg perished in the Shoah. In 1968, a memorial stone was unveiled at the former synagogue site.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

BAD MINGOLSHEIM

A village in northern Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 77 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: 13

Jews lived in in Bad Mingolsheim from the 18th century onwards. Services were initially conducted in a prayer room, and we also know that the community consecrated a cemetery and a synagogue, the latter of which was located on 25 Friedrichsstrasse, in 1878 and 1882, respectively. In 1895, the Jewish community of Langenbruecken became an affiliate of Bad Mingolsheim. In 1933, 13 Jews lived in Bad Mingolsheim and eight in Langenbruecken. Although the synagogue had been sold to a private citizen in April 1938—the new owner used the site as a barn and storage room—SA men still planned to set the building on fire on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938). Prevented from doing so by the neighbors, they instead destroyed the building’s ritual objects. One Jew was sent to Dachau that night. Eight Jews (four from Bad Mingolsheim and four from Langenbruecken) managed to emigrate; another four relocated within Germany. On October 22, 1940, four Mingolsheim Jews and one Jewish woman from Langenbruecken were deported to the Gurs concentration camp in France. At least four Mingolsheim Jews and two from Langenbruecken perished in the Shoah.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Wangen

Wangen im Allgäu

A historic city in southeast Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 233 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 20

Wangen’s first documented Jew, Baruch Moises Ainstein, was an ancestor of Albert Einstein’s. The Wangen Jews established the following institutions: a small wooden synagogue (with 22 seats for men) and mikveh next to Lake Constance in 1750; an additional prayer hall (set up in the community leader’s home) in 1783; a new synagogue in 1825/1826; and, finally, a cemetery on Gewann am Hardtbuehl in 1827. Jewish schoolchildren attended the community’s elementary school until 1870, when all confessional schools in Baden were closed, after which local Jews employed a teacher of religion who also functioned as a chazzan and shochet. By the 1920s, the community had dwindled to such an extent that regular services were no longer held in the synagogue. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue was burned down; six Jews were brutally assaulted, and the cemetery was desecrated. Six local Jews emigrated, three relocated within Germany, five died in Wangen and seven were deported to Gurs concentration camp on October 22, 1940. At least six Wangen Jews died in the Shoah. The synagogue site — it was transferred to the municipality in 1945 — is now a camp site; in 1968, a memorial stone was unveiled there. The cemetery was vandalized in 1992.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

BERWANGEN

A small village in the Black Forest region in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1719; peak Jewish population: 146 in 1887; Jewish population in 1933: 33

This community built its first synagogue in 1771. Later, in 1845, a new synagogue was inaugurated at 45 Hausener Strasse. Local Jews maintained a mikveh (20 Hausener Strasse) and a school for religious studies whose teacher also served as chazzan and shochet. In Berwangen, a cemetery was consecrated (on Fuerfelderweg) in 1845. Thirty-three Jews lived in Berwangen in 1933: Two schoolchildren received religious instruction, and a chevra kadisha and three charity associations were active in the community.

On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue’s windows and interior were destroyed. Jews were beaten with rubber clubs, and homes were wrecked. Furniture from the homes of Jews who had emigrated, which had been stored in the school, was also damaged. The community chairman and his wife were marched through the streets while crowds lined the streets and shouted abuse. The synagogue building was demolished shortly after the pogrom. Eighteen local Jews immigrated to the United States; seven relocated within Germany. Nine Jews, Berwangen’s last, were deported to the concentration camp in Gurs, France, on October 22, 1940. At least 52 Berwangen Jews perished in the Shoah. At the demolished cemetery site, a memorial stone was later unveiled. The former synagogue site now accommodates a vegetable garden, a garage and a warehouse.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

WENKHEIM

A village in the Main-Tauber district in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1576; peak Jewish population: 181 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 46

In 1840, the Jewish community of Wenkheim replaced its 17th-century prayer hall with a proper synagogue; the new building housed a mikveh, a school and an apartment for a teacher who also served as shochet and chazzan. The Jewish cemetery on Gewann Grosser Wald, which had been consecrated in, at the latest, the 17th century, served Wenkheim and the neighboring Jewish communities. In 1933, four schoolchildren studied religion in Wenkheim. Torah study groups and a charitable organization were active in the town. The synagogue’s interior and ritual objects were destroyed on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938); Jews, however, were permitted to bury several desecrated prayer books. An attempt to dynamite the synagogue building failed, and it was subsequently used to house prisoners of war. Thirty Jews emigrated from Wenkheim before 1940; five relocated within Germany. The 11 remaining Jews were eventually moved into the Bravmann family’s home, from which they were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. At least 34 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue—it had been used as a residence and warehouse after the war— was restored in 1992. Now a cultural center, it houses a memorial plaque and an exhibition on regional Jewish history.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

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The Jewish Community of Gurs

Gurs internment camp

The Gurs camp was an internment camp built in France at Gurs near Oloron-Sainte-Marie in the Basses-Pyrénées (currently Pyrénées-Atlantiques) department by the French government of Édouard Daladier between March 15 and April 25 1939 to intern people fleeing Spain after the victory of the Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War. 

Following the armistice of June 22, 1940 , signed with Germany by the French government of Pétain , the camp was used as a mixed internment camp to accommodate Jews of all nationalities - except French - captured and deported by the Nazi regime in countries under its control (Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands). Nearly 4,000 Jews were transferred from Gurs to the Drancy camp between August 6, 1942 and March 3, 1943. They were subsequently deported to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and almost all were murdered there.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Natan Finkelstein

Natan Finkelstein (1922-1943), member of the youth organization Bnei Akiva (Bachad)-Belgium, born on September 26, 1922 in Sanok, Poland. His father, Mordechai and his mother, Yocheved, arrived in Belgium, in August 1931 and lived at 4, Milisstraat, Antwerp, Belgium.

Nathan studied at the Tachkemoni School and in the "Shaarei Torah" yeshiva that belonged to the Shomrei Hadass congregation, later at the Handelschool (a trade school for commerce) in Antwerp, Belgium. Nathan was an outstanding student, first of his class. He worked in the fur trade.

The Bnei Akiva (Bachad) youth organization in Belgium was founded in 1933, and was a very important youth organization in the life of the Belgian Jews in the years before and during the Shoah. They were active even in the yeas 1940-1942, when Belgium was occupied by the Nazis. When their activities came to an end, some of the members joined the agricultural Hachshara ("training camp") in Bomal, Belgium, with the hope that one day they will be able to immigrate to the Land of Israel and live there as farmers.

Finkelstein, Nathan was arrested on June 23, 1940 and was incarcerated in the Brens camp, from there he was transferred on July 11, 1940 to Argeles/mer and from there to the concentration camps in Gurs and Drancy.  From there he was  deported to Maidanek Nazi death camp on May 6, 1943, with Transport 51I. He never returned.

...........................................................................

This biography was originally published in the book The story of a Memorial, Bnei Akiva-Tikvatenu, Antwerp, in the Holocaust, edited by Jacques I. Offen and Salomon Hauser, published by Shamayim LTD, Israel 2010, and was recorded in Beit Hatfutsot's databases, courtesy of the authors.

David Stern

David Stern (1924-1944), member of the youth organization Bnei Akiva (Bachad)-Belgium, born on September 2, 1923 in Antwerp, Belgium. His father, Isaac and his mother Myriam nee Teitelbaum, lived on 9, Stierstraat, Antwerp, Belgium. 

They had four children: Charles (see separate entry Stern Charles), David, Adele Grun, and Gusti Fuchs, who both survived the war.

David studied in a public elementary school, then at the Athenee Royale public high school in Antwerp, Belgium. Later he was registered for the training farm in Bomal, Belgium.

The Bnei Akiva (Bachad) youth organization in Belgium was founded in 1933, and was a very important youth organization in the life of the Belgian Jews in the years before and during the Shoah. They were active even in the years 1940-1942, when Belgium was occupied by the Nazis. When their activities came to an end, some of the members joined the agricultural Hachshara ("training camp") in Bomal, Belgium, with the hope that one day they will be able to immigrate to the Land of Israel and live there as farmers.

Stern was active in the French Resistance (FTPF). While active in the French Resistance he wrote a letter to Lucien Hauser (see separate entry Hauser Lucien). David was arrested by the Germans and interned in the Gurs camp,  France, from November 1942 to December 1942, from there he was transferred to Chateauneuf camp, France. He was killed in an incident on July 8, 1944 in the town of Vollore-Montagne, near Thiers, France.

On August 4, 1947 his family brought his body for burial in the Jewish cemetery of Antwerp in Putte, Holland.

...........................................................................

This biography was originally published in the book The story of a Memorial, Bnei Akiva-Tikvatenu, Antwerp, in the Holocaust, edited by Jacques I. Offen and Salomon Hauser, published by Shamayim LTD, Israel 2010, and was recorded in Beit Hatfutsot's databases, courtesy of the authors.

Buehl

Bühl 

A city in the district of Rastatt in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1579; peak Jewish population: 301 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 72

Buehl’s Jews had established a prayer room by 1723. They inaugurated a synagogue with a mikveh in 1823, and opened a cemetery in 1833. Between 1827 and 1937, Buehl was home to a regional rabbinate. The community operated a Jewish school between 1830 and 1876. During the 1850s, Rabbi Leopold Schott introduced the congregation to Reform measures by permitting the inclusion of a harmonium and a choir. The diminished community of 1933 was still employing a teacher and maintaining a chevra kadisha, a women’s association and a charity association. In 1938, on the morning before Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue was set on fire: the interior was largely destroyed, and ritual objects were stolen; youths shattered the rabbinate’s windows and damaged Jewish-owned stores. By 1940, 21 Buehl Jews had fled the country; 13 had left for other German cities. Twenty-eight were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France in October 1940, and an 87-year-old woman was deported to Theresienstadt in September 1942. At least 27 Buehl Jews perished in the Shoah. The arsonist responsible for the destruction of the synagogue was later sentenced to five years in prison. At the site, which now accommodates an ice cream parlor, a memorial plaque was unveiled in 1983.

-------------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

GEMMINGEN

GEMMINGEN 

A town in the district of Heilbronn in Baden-Wuerttemberg, in Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1644; peak Jewish population: 291 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 39

The Jewish community of Gemmingen constituted 23% of the local population in 1864. In 1727, the community was given permission to build a prayer room in a Jewish residence. A synagogue was opened at Schwaigerner in 1821, but the building quickly deteriorated and was replaced, in 1887, by a new house of worship (built at the same location). Beginning in 1819, the community conducted burials in Eppingen. A Jewish elementary school, opened in the 1830s, was shut down in 1876 together with all confessional schools in Baden. Gemmingen also had a mikveh. In 1933, the 39 Jews who lived in Gemmingen maintained a charity association. The community was disbanded in July 1938, not long after which, on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), rioters vandalized the synagogue’s interior, smashed its windows and doors, and threw out its furniture and ritual objects. The municipality later appropriated the building. Twelve Jews moved to Gemmingen during the Nazi period, and two Jewish children were born in the town. By way of contrast, 21 local Jews emigrated, 26 relocated inside Germany, nine died in Gemmingen, and five, the last, were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. At least 49 Gemmingen Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was torn down in 1975/76.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

ADELSHEIM

ADELSHEIM

A small town in northern Baden-Württemberg, about 30 km north of Heilbronn, Germany.

First Jewish presence: Middle Ages; peak Jewish population: 70 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 35

Although Jews had lived in Adelsheim during the Middle Ages and founded a congregation there in the 17th century, their numbers were limited until the beginning of the 1800s. Records suggest that the seventeenth-century community conducted services in a shul (built on the second floor of a house on Torgasse). From the middle of the 19th century until 1889, the congregation prayed in a synagogue at 27 Turmgasse. This synagogue was sold in 1889/90, when a new house of worship was inaugurated at 1 Tanzbergstrasse/Untere Austrasse; the grand Duke of Baden facilitated the process by providing the community with a grant. Local Jews also maintained a mikveh, a school and a cemetery, the last of which was consecrated in 1889 and shared with the communities of Sennfeld and Korb.

In 1933, Adelsheim was home to 35 Jewish citizens, 20 of whom emigrated from Germany as a result of the anti-Jewish boycott. Later, on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue’s interior was destroyed and the Torah scrolls were burned in public. The last eight Jews of Adelsheim were deported to Gurs, France, in October, 1940; all died either in Gurs concentration camp, in other French camps or, later, in Auschwitz. In 1939, the municipality appropriated the synagogue. The building was used as a youth club after World War II and later for agricultural purposes. A memorial plaque was unveiled there in 2005.

--------------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz

RANDEGG

RANDEGG

A village in the municipality of Gottmadingen in the Konstanz district in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1656; peak Jewish population: 251 in 1849; Jewish population in 1933: 62

The Jewish community of Randegg employed rabbis throughout most of its existence. Randegg’s yeshiva, founded in the mid-18th century, earned regional renown. In 1810, the community decided to replace its 17th-century synagogue with a new house of worship near Hauptstrasse; the new synagogue housed a library, a schoolroom and quarters for a teacher who also served as shochet and chazzan. Randegg’s cemetery, consecrated in the 17th century, was located at Gewann Floezler. In 1933, three Jewish schoolchildren studied religion in Randegg. A chevra kadisha, a women’s association and a charity association were active in the town. All Jewish-owned businesses had closed by 1938. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), an SS commando placed the mayor under house arrest before blowing up the synagogue; the explosion destroyed the building, its contents (including approximately ten Torah scrolls) and the adjacent rabbinate building. The mayor resigned in protest. Thirty local Jews emigrated, nine relocated within Germany and five died in Randegg. The remaining 17 Jews, together with 11 from Villingen (an affiliated community), were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. At least 42 Jews originally from Randegg perished in the Shoah. In 1968, a memorial stone was unveiled at the former synagogue site.

---------------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

BAD MINGOLSHEIM

BAD MINGOLSHEIM

A village in northern Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 77 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: 13

Jews lived in in Bad Mingolsheim from the 18th century onwards. Services were initially conducted in a prayer room, and we also know that the community consecrated a cemetery and a synagogue, the latter of which was located on 25 Friedrichsstrasse, in 1878 and 1882, respectively. In 1895, the Jewish community of Langenbruecken became an affiliate of Bad Mingolsheim. In 1933, 13 Jews lived in Bad Mingolsheim and eight in Langenbruecken. Although the synagogue had been sold to a private citizen in April 1938—the new owner used the site as a barn and storage room—SA men still planned to set the building on fire on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938). Prevented from doing so by the neighbors, they instead destroyed the building’s ritual objects. One Jew was sent to Dachau that night. Eight Jews (four from Bad Mingolsheim and four from Langenbruecken) managed to emigrate; another four relocated within Germany. On October 22, 1940, four Mingolsheim Jews and one Jewish woman from Langenbruecken were deported to the Gurs concentration camp in France. At least four Mingolsheim Jews and two from Langenbruecken perished in the Shoah.

------------------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Wangen

Wangen

Wangen im Allgäu

A historic city in southeast Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 233 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 20

Wangen’s first documented Jew, Baruch Moises Ainstein, was an ancestor of Albert Einstein’s. The Wangen Jews established the following institutions: a small wooden synagogue (with 22 seats for men) and mikveh next to Lake Constance in 1750; an additional prayer hall (set up in the community leader’s home) in 1783; a new synagogue in 1825/1826; and, finally, a cemetery on Gewann am Hardtbuehl in 1827. Jewish schoolchildren attended the community’s elementary school until 1870, when all confessional schools in Baden were closed, after which local Jews employed a teacher of religion who also functioned as a chazzan and shochet. By the 1920s, the community had dwindled to such an extent that regular services were no longer held in the synagogue. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue was burned down; six Jews were brutally assaulted, and the cemetery was desecrated. Six local Jews emigrated, three relocated within Germany, five died in Wangen and seven were deported to Gurs concentration camp on October 22, 1940. At least six Wangen Jews died in the Shoah. The synagogue site — it was transferred to the municipality in 1945 — is now a camp site; in 1968, a memorial stone was unveiled there. The cemetery was vandalized in 1992.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

BERWANGEN

BERWANGEN

A small village in the Black Forest region in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1719; peak Jewish population: 146 in 1887; Jewish population in 1933: 33

This community built its first synagogue in 1771. Later, in 1845, a new synagogue was inaugurated at 45 Hausener Strasse. Local Jews maintained a mikveh (20 Hausener Strasse) and a school for religious studies whose teacher also served as chazzan and shochet. In Berwangen, a cemetery was consecrated (on Fuerfelderweg) in 1845. Thirty-three Jews lived in Berwangen in 1933: Two schoolchildren received religious instruction, and a chevra kadisha and three charity associations were active in the community.

On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue’s windows and interior were destroyed. Jews were beaten with rubber clubs, and homes were wrecked. Furniture from the homes of Jews who had emigrated, which had been stored in the school, was also damaged. The community chairman and his wife were marched through the streets while crowds lined the streets and shouted abuse. The synagogue building was demolished shortly after the pogrom. Eighteen local Jews immigrated to the United States; seven relocated within Germany. Nine Jews, Berwangen’s last, were deported to the concentration camp in Gurs, France, on October 22, 1940. At least 52 Berwangen Jews perished in the Shoah. At the demolished cemetery site, a memorial stone was later unveiled. The former synagogue site now accommodates a vegetable garden, a garage and a warehouse.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

WENKHEIM

WENKHEIM

A village in the Main-Tauber district in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1576; peak Jewish population: 181 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 46

In 1840, the Jewish community of Wenkheim replaced its 17th-century prayer hall with a proper synagogue; the new building housed a mikveh, a school and an apartment for a teacher who also served as shochet and chazzan. The Jewish cemetery on Gewann Grosser Wald, which had been consecrated in, at the latest, the 17th century, served Wenkheim and the neighboring Jewish communities. In 1933, four schoolchildren studied religion in Wenkheim. Torah study groups and a charitable organization were active in the town. The synagogue’s interior and ritual objects were destroyed on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938); Jews, however, were permitted to bury several desecrated prayer books. An attempt to dynamite the synagogue building failed, and it was subsequently used to house prisoners of war. Thirty Jews emigrated from Wenkheim before 1940; five relocated within Germany. The 11 remaining Jews were eventually moved into the Bravmann family’s home, from which they were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. At least 34 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue—it had been used as a residence and warehouse after the war— was restored in 1992. Now a cultural center, it houses a memorial plaque and an exhibition on regional Jewish history.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.