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The Jewish Community of LAHR

LAHR

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

First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 143 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 96

The Jewish community of Lahr was destroyed during the Black Death pogroms of 1348/49. It was not until 1862 that Jews were allowed to return to Lahr; in 1888, they established a community and inaugurated a prayer hall on Bismarckstrasse. Although local Jews were able to maintain a school—the teacher also served as the shochet and chazzan— they conducted burials in nearby Schmieheim. Prominent local Jews included the Weil family, whose steel plant was one of the largest in Europe. The prayer hall was sold in September 1938, after which prayers were conducted in a private residence. Later on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), rioters ravaged Jewish-owned homes and businesses, demolished the former prayer hall and threw out its ritual objects. Jews were dragged from their homes, and the men were sent to Dachau. The following morning, the remaining Jews were marched through the town. In 1939, those Jews who still lived in Lahr were forcibly moved into so-called “Jews’ houses.” Thirty-nine Lahr Jews emigrated, 30 relocated within Germany, nine died in Lahr and 21 were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France in October 1940. Three Jews who were married to Christians managed to remain in Lahr, but a fourth was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1945. At least 61 local Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque was later affixed to the Bismarckstrasse building.

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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.

Place Type:
City
ID Number:
16742799
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:

SCHMIEHEIM 

A village n the district of Ortenau in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. 

First Jewish presence: 1624; peak Jewish population: 580 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 120

Schmieheim’s regional Jewish cemetery, consecrated in 1682, became the largest in South Baden. Although the town’s Jewish community had established a synagogue in 1720, a new one was opened on Schlossstrasse in 1814: it accommodated 62 men, and was renovated in 1846, 1875 and 1910. By 1855, 120 students attended Schmieheim’s Jewish school (opened in the 1830s and closed in 1876). In 1933, a teacher from Kuppenheim instructed the town’s Jewish schoolchildren. A Jewish women’s association was active in Schmieheim that year. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), Jewish homes were vandalized, a Jew was assaulted and the synagogue’s interior was demolished. The mayor not only prevented the synagogue building being burned down, but arranged for the protection of Jewish businesses. Twenty-eight men, however, were sent to Dachau. Thirty-two local Jews emigrated, 61 relocated in Germany, 17 died in the town and 14 were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. Eight elderly Jews remained after the deportations: one died in the town, and the others were deported to the Nazi concentration camps in Eastern Europe from different locations in 1941/1942. At least 45 Schmieheim Jews died in the Shoah. In 2001, a geniza (storeroom for holy books) was found in the residential building now standing on the former synagogue site. The cemetery was renovated in 1959.

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

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.

The fortress of Terezin (in German Theresienstadt) in north-west Czechoslovakia was founded during the reign of Kaiser Joseph II and named after his mother, Maria-Theresa. In 1941, the Nazis decided to concentrate in Terezin most of the Jews of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, including the elderly, prominent personalities and those with special privileges, and gradually to transport them from there to the death camps. They transformed the town into a ghetto, and between November 24, 1941 and April 20, 1945 some 140,000 Jews were brought there. In September 1942, the ghetto population reached a peak of 53,000. Of the Jews who passed through the ghetto, approximately 33,000 died there, while 80,000 were transported from there to the extermination camps. In the fall of 1944 only 11,000 Jews were left alive in Terezin.

Most of the inmates of Terezin were assimilated Jews, many of them artists, writers and scholars, who helped to organize intensive cultural activities: orchestras, an opera group, theater, light entertainment and cabaret. The Germans had established the ghetto with the aim of misleading world public opinion regarding the extermination of European Jewry, by presenting Terezin as a model Jewish settlement.

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.

Westhouse

In German: Westhausen 

A commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the historical region of Alsace, France. Westhouse was annexed by Germany between 1871-1918.

Jews started to settle in Westhouse during the 18th century. The 1784 general census of the Jewish population in Alsace recorded in Westhouse 25 Jewish families with a total of about 140 people. In 1807 there were 160 Jewish inhabitants in Westhouse. Their number reached a peak of 236 in 1846. After mid-19th century the Jewish population of Westhouse decreased continuously with 214 Jews recorded in 1861, 201 in 1870, 93 in 1900, and 80 in 1910. In 1936 there only 40 Jews in Westhouse.

The Jewish community in Westhouse belonged to the Rabbinate of Niedernai, and after 1910 to that of Obernai. A synagogue established in 1808 was replaced by a new building in 1858. The community also operated a school that was open from 1858 to 1896, and a mikveh. A teacher employed by the community served also as prayer leader and shochet.  

After the German occupation of Alsace in 1940, the remaining Jews of Westhouse were deported to southern France, of them 20 perished in the Holocaust.

In 1953 there were 5 Jewish inhabitants in Westhouse. The synagogue building was destroyed during the Second World War.

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The Jewish Community of LAHR

LAHR

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

First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 143 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 96

The Jewish community of Lahr was destroyed during the Black Death pogroms of 1348/49. It was not until 1862 that Jews were allowed to return to Lahr; in 1888, they established a community and inaugurated a prayer hall on Bismarckstrasse. Although local Jews were able to maintain a school—the teacher also served as the shochet and chazzan— they conducted burials in nearby Schmieheim. Prominent local Jews included the Weil family, whose steel plant was one of the largest in Europe. The prayer hall was sold in September 1938, after which prayers were conducted in a private residence. Later on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), rioters ravaged Jewish-owned homes and businesses, demolished the former prayer hall and threw out its ritual objects. Jews were dragged from their homes, and the men were sent to Dachau. The following morning, the remaining Jews were marched through the town. In 1939, those Jews who still lived in Lahr were forcibly moved into so-called “Jews’ houses.” Thirty-nine Lahr Jews emigrated, 30 relocated within Germany, nine died in Lahr and 21 were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France in October 1940. Three Jews who were married to Christians managed to remain in Lahr, but a fourth was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1945. At least 61 local Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque was later affixed to the Bismarckstrasse building.

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

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.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Westhouse
Gurs
Theresienstadt - Terezin
SCHMIEHEIM

Westhouse

In German: Westhausen 

A commune in the Bas-Rhin department in the historical region of Alsace, France. Westhouse was annexed by Germany between 1871-1918.

Jews started to settle in Westhouse during the 18th century. The 1784 general census of the Jewish population in Alsace recorded in Westhouse 25 Jewish families with a total of about 140 people. In 1807 there were 160 Jewish inhabitants in Westhouse. Their number reached a peak of 236 in 1846. After mid-19th century the Jewish population of Westhouse decreased continuously with 214 Jews recorded in 1861, 201 in 1870, 93 in 1900, and 80 in 1910. In 1936 there only 40 Jews in Westhouse.

The Jewish community in Westhouse belonged to the Rabbinate of Niedernai, and after 1910 to that of Obernai. A synagogue established in 1808 was replaced by a new building in 1858. The community also operated a school that was open from 1858 to 1896, and a mikveh. A teacher employed by the community served also as prayer leader and shochet.  

After the German occupation of Alsace in 1940, the remaining Jews of Westhouse were deported to southern France, of them 20 perished in the Holocaust.

In 1953 there were 5 Jewish inhabitants in Westhouse. The synagogue building was destroyed during the Second World War.

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.

The fortress of Terezin (in German Theresienstadt) in north-west Czechoslovakia was founded during the reign of Kaiser Joseph II and named after his mother, Maria-Theresa. In 1941, the Nazis decided to concentrate in Terezin most of the Jews of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, including the elderly, prominent personalities and those with special privileges, and gradually to transport them from there to the death camps. They transformed the town into a ghetto, and between November 24, 1941 and April 20, 1945 some 140,000 Jews were brought there. In September 1942, the ghetto population reached a peak of 53,000. Of the Jews who passed through the ghetto, approximately 33,000 died there, while 80,000 were transported from there to the extermination camps. In the fall of 1944 only 11,000 Jews were left alive in Terezin.

Most of the inmates of Terezin were assimilated Jews, many of them artists, writers and scholars, who helped to organize intensive cultural activities: orchestras, an opera group, theater, light entertainment and cabaret. The Germans had established the ghetto with the aim of misleading world public opinion regarding the extermination of European Jewry, by presenting Terezin as a model Jewish settlement.

SCHMIEHEIM 

A village n the district of Ortenau in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. 

First Jewish presence: 1624; peak Jewish population: 580 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 120

Schmieheim’s regional Jewish cemetery, consecrated in 1682, became the largest in South Baden. Although the town’s Jewish community had established a synagogue in 1720, a new one was opened on Schlossstrasse in 1814: it accommodated 62 men, and was renovated in 1846, 1875 and 1910. By 1855, 120 students attended Schmieheim’s Jewish school (opened in the 1830s and closed in 1876). In 1933, a teacher from Kuppenheim instructed the town’s Jewish schoolchildren. A Jewish women’s association was active in Schmieheim that year. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), Jewish homes were vandalized, a Jew was assaulted and the synagogue’s interior was demolished. The mayor not only prevented the synagogue building being burned down, but arranged for the protection of Jewish businesses. Twenty-eight men, however, were sent to Dachau. Thirty-two local Jews emigrated, 61 relocated in Germany, 17 died in the town and 14 were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. Eight elderly Jews remained after the deportations: one died in the town, and the others were deported to the Nazi concentration camps in Eastern Europe from different locations in 1941/1942. At least 45 Schmieheim Jews died in the Shoah. In 2001, a geniza (storeroom for holy books) was found in the residential building now standing on the former synagogue site. The cemetery was renovated in 1959.

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

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.

Oonagh Lahr
Sheila Lahr
Barbara LAHR