Search
Print
Share
Your Selected Item:
Would you like to help us improving the content? Send us your suggestions

The Jewish Community of Wolfenbuettel

Wolfenbuettel

Wolfenbüttel 

A town and capital of Wolfenbüttel District in lower Saxony, Germany.

Between the world wars it was in Freistaat Braunschweig, and in the years 1954-1990 in Western Germany.

There was a small Jewish community in Wolfenbuettel during the 18th century. It became known in the Jewish world thanks to the educational institution that has existed for 140 years or more. In 1781 a synagogue was erected to replace the prayer room that had previously been in use. After a new synagogue was dedicated in 1893 the old one was used as a private dwelling. A cemetery was acquired by the community in 1724 (it was desecrated in 1938). The small community is mainly known for the Jewish school that was established in the town. In 1786 Philip Samson and his brother Herz, landrabbiner and court Jew of the Duke of Brunswick, founded a Bet-Midrash for poor boys, under the directorship of Philip, where four to five hours a week were set aside for secular studies (German, arithmetic, etc.). Ten years later another school was founded, endowed by Herz's widow. In 1806-1807, under the influence of Israel Jacobson, the schools amalgamated, and revolutionized their curriculum. Less emphasis was given to Talmudic studies, which were eventually replaced by catechism. The innovations were carried out by one of the first pupils, S.M. Ehrenburg, who conducted the earliest confirmation ceremony in 1807.

The first to be confirmed was Leopold Zunz, who taught in the school for five years; his contemporary at school was the historian I.M. Jost. Attendance at the Samsonsche Freischule grew from about a dozen pupils in the late 18th century to 150-200 a century later, when it had become a recognized Real Gynmasium (high school). It included a hostel. French and English were taught, and Jewish studies included bible with Mendelssohn's translation, Jewish laws and customs, and a little Jewish history. The trend was that of liberal Judaism. The school was closed on Sabbaths and open on Sundays. In 1928 it was closed following the post-World War I inflation.

The following Jewish organizations were active in Wolfenbuettel in 1933: a sisterhood, a chevra kadisha, a welfare organization, a branch of the German Zionist organization and a branch of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith. During the years 1933 to 1939, more than half the Jewish population left Wolfenbuettel. According to sources, eight local Jews immigrated to South America, five to Palestine, five to the United States, four to England and four to the Netherlands. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), rioters burned down Wolfenbuettel’s new synagogue. Sixty Jews lived in Wolfenbuettel in 1939, a number that had dropped to 48 by August of that year. Later, in February of 1941, 52 Jews lived in the town, many of whom were deported, via Braunschweig, to Warsaw on March 31, 1942. The remaining Jews were deported to Auschwitz on July 11, 1942 or on March 16, 1943. At least 52 Wolfenbuettel Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1986, the citizens of Wolfenbuettel prevented the new owner of the older synagogue from renovating the building for his own purposes.

_________________________________________________________

This entry contains materials that were 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. 

Place Type:
Town
ID Number:
120113
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:

Goslar

A town and capital of the Goslar district in Lower Saxony, Germany. 

Jewish merchants from Worms are mentioned there in 1074 and 1114. In 1252 the town demanded the rights to the taxes from its Jewish settlement for itself, opposing the royal prerogative on the Jews as "servi camerae"; royal taxes were levied on them through the municipality from 1274. In 1312 the community paid a direct tax identical to that paid by Christians. The town council intervened on behalf of the community against the exactions of Emperor Louis of Bavaria in 1336 and 1340.

The community of Goslar did not suffer persecution, even at the time of the Black Death, and the local form of the Jewish oath was relatively free of degrading formulas.

Problems of residence rights (cherem ha-yishuv) gave rise to bitter quarrels between old and new settlers, which the municipal council was often called upon to arbitrate and resulted in a split in the community in 1331 which lasted for seven years. At that time there were approximately 30 Jewish taxpayers.

From 1312 the town council issued an increasing number of Judenbriefe conferring rights and obligations on individual Jews, so that by 1340 at least half of the Jews in Goslar were not formally included in the community for taxation purposes. This process continued in the latter half of the 14th century, accompanied by increased taxation and decline of the community. Further deterioration in the community situation occurred following a blood libel in 1440, to the extent that it was impossible to organize a minyan. And in 1414 the Jews of Goslar secretly left the city and moved to Braunschweig to evade heavy imperial tax. A community in Goslar was mentioned in 1615, when a parnas was installed and took the oath of office. The pinkas registering a community of 9 members was opened in 1677. A synagogue was reopened in 1693. The community numbered 43 persons in 1871 and 38 in 1933.

On Pogrom Night (November 9, 1938), the synagogue (consecrated in 1802), and Jewish shops and homes were attacked and looted. The well-preserved community archives were destroyed. Twenty two members of the community perished during the Holocaust. Local Jews were mistreated and imprisoned, and one died. In 1939, the synagogue and cemetery were sold to the town, the proceeds confiscated. The last Jews of Goslar were deported to concentration camps in 1942 and 1943. At least eight Goslar Jews perished in the Shoah. After World War II, a number of Shoah survivors temporarily settled in Goslar, among them four natives of the town. The synagogue building was pulled down in 1959. A memorial stone was later unveiled in Goslar, and several former Jewish homes bear plaques. An annual memorial tour is held in honor of Goslar’s murdered Jews.

A new community was organized, with 46 members in 1948, but declined soon afterward. It had eight members in 1970.

our Open Databases
Jewish Genealogy
Family Names
Jewish Communities
Visual Documentation
Jewish Music Center
Place
אA
אA
אA
Would you like to help us improving the content? Send us your suggestions
The Jewish Community of Wolfenbuettel

Wolfenbuettel

Wolfenbüttel 

A town and capital of Wolfenbüttel District in lower Saxony, Germany.

Between the world wars it was in Freistaat Braunschweig, and in the years 1954-1990 in Western Germany.

There was a small Jewish community in Wolfenbuettel during the 18th century. It became known in the Jewish world thanks to the educational institution that has existed for 140 years or more. In 1781 a synagogue was erected to replace the prayer room that had previously been in use. After a new synagogue was dedicated in 1893 the old one was used as a private dwelling. A cemetery was acquired by the community in 1724 (it was desecrated in 1938). The small community is mainly known for the Jewish school that was established in the town. In 1786 Philip Samson and his brother Herz, landrabbiner and court Jew of the Duke of Brunswick, founded a Bet-Midrash for poor boys, under the directorship of Philip, where four to five hours a week were set aside for secular studies (German, arithmetic, etc.). Ten years later another school was founded, endowed by Herz's widow. In 1806-1807, under the influence of Israel Jacobson, the schools amalgamated, and revolutionized their curriculum. Less emphasis was given to Talmudic studies, which were eventually replaced by catechism. The innovations were carried out by one of the first pupils, S.M. Ehrenburg, who conducted the earliest confirmation ceremony in 1807.

The first to be confirmed was Leopold Zunz, who taught in the school for five years; his contemporary at school was the historian I.M. Jost. Attendance at the Samsonsche Freischule grew from about a dozen pupils in the late 18th century to 150-200 a century later, when it had become a recognized Real Gynmasium (high school). It included a hostel. French and English were taught, and Jewish studies included bible with Mendelssohn's translation, Jewish laws and customs, and a little Jewish history. The trend was that of liberal Judaism. The school was closed on Sabbaths and open on Sundays. In 1928 it was closed following the post-World War I inflation.

The following Jewish organizations were active in Wolfenbuettel in 1933: a sisterhood, a chevra kadisha, a welfare organization, a branch of the German Zionist organization and a branch of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith. During the years 1933 to 1939, more than half the Jewish population left Wolfenbuettel. According to sources, eight local Jews immigrated to South America, five to Palestine, five to the United States, four to England and four to the Netherlands. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), rioters burned down Wolfenbuettel’s new synagogue. Sixty Jews lived in Wolfenbuettel in 1939, a number that had dropped to 48 by August of that year. Later, in February of 1941, 52 Jews lived in the town, many of whom were deported, via Braunschweig, to Warsaw on March 31, 1942. The remaining Jews were deported to Auschwitz on July 11, 1942 or on March 16, 1943. At least 52 Wolfenbuettel Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1986, the citizens of Wolfenbuettel prevented the new owner of the older synagogue from renovating the building for his own purposes.

_________________________________________________________

This entry contains materials that were 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. 

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Goslar

Goslar

A town and capital of the Goslar district in Lower Saxony, Germany. 

Jewish merchants from Worms are mentioned there in 1074 and 1114. In 1252 the town demanded the rights to the taxes from its Jewish settlement for itself, opposing the royal prerogative on the Jews as "servi camerae"; royal taxes were levied on them through the municipality from 1274. In 1312 the community paid a direct tax identical to that paid by Christians. The town council intervened on behalf of the community against the exactions of Emperor Louis of Bavaria in 1336 and 1340.

The community of Goslar did not suffer persecution, even at the time of the Black Death, and the local form of the Jewish oath was relatively free of degrading formulas.

Problems of residence rights (cherem ha-yishuv) gave rise to bitter quarrels between old and new settlers, which the municipal council was often called upon to arbitrate and resulted in a split in the community in 1331 which lasted for seven years. At that time there were approximately 30 Jewish taxpayers.

From 1312 the town council issued an increasing number of Judenbriefe conferring rights and obligations on individual Jews, so that by 1340 at least half of the Jews in Goslar were not formally included in the community for taxation purposes. This process continued in the latter half of the 14th century, accompanied by increased taxation and decline of the community. Further deterioration in the community situation occurred following a blood libel in 1440, to the extent that it was impossible to organize a minyan. And in 1414 the Jews of Goslar secretly left the city and moved to Braunschweig to evade heavy imperial tax. A community in Goslar was mentioned in 1615, when a parnas was installed and took the oath of office. The pinkas registering a community of 9 members was opened in 1677. A synagogue was reopened in 1693. The community numbered 43 persons in 1871 and 38 in 1933.

On Pogrom Night (November 9, 1938), the synagogue (consecrated in 1802), and Jewish shops and homes were attacked and looted. The well-preserved community archives were destroyed. Twenty two members of the community perished during the Holocaust. Local Jews were mistreated and imprisoned, and one died. In 1939, the synagogue and cemetery were sold to the town, the proceeds confiscated. The last Jews of Goslar were deported to concentration camps in 1942 and 1943. At least eight Goslar Jews perished in the Shoah. After World War II, a number of Shoah survivors temporarily settled in Goslar, among them four natives of the town. The synagogue building was pulled down in 1959. A memorial stone was later unveiled in Goslar, and several former Jewish homes bear plaques. An annual memorial tour is held in honor of Goslar’s murdered Jews.

A new community was organized, with 46 members in 1948, but declined soon afterward. It had eight members in 1970.