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Synagogue in Colmar, Alsace, France. Postcard 1910

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Synagogue in Colmar, Alsace, France.
Postcard 1910.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Ilan Bloch, Jerusalem)
Photo period:
1910
ID Number:
217925
Image Purchase: For more details about image purchasing Click here, make sure you have the photo ID number (as appear above)
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Alsatian: Colmer

German: Kolmar

A town in the Alsace region, northeastern France. Colmar is located near the border with Germany. 
Between 1871-1918, and 1940-1945, Colmar was part of Germany.

 

21ST CENTURY

The synagogue is located on 3 rue de la Cigogne. The synagogue has the distinction of being the only one in the region with a bell tower.

The Katz Room, located in the Musée Bartholdi (located in the home of Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty), has a collection of Jewish ritual objects.

 

HISTORY

Among the earliest written evidence of a Jewish presence in Colmar dates from 1278. During the late 13th and through the 14th century, Colmar became a place of refuge for Jews from Rouffach, Mutzig, and other areas who were escaping persecutions and anti-Jewish violence.

Community institutions included a synagogue, a mikvah (ritual bath), a dance hall, and a cemetery. The synagogue was destroyed in a fire in 1297. The community’s Jews lived in a Jewish Quarter.

In the wake of the Black Death epidemic (1348-1349) the Jews of Colmar, like Jews throughout Europe, were subject to violence and persecutions. A number of Jews from Colmar were burned at the stake at the beginning of 1349; the place of their execution was subsequently known as "Judenloch.” The rest of the Jewish community was expelled from Colmar.

Jews were readmitted to Colmar in 1385 and were granted a cemetery from the town. In 1392 the community included at least 29 adults (possibly heads of families). Colmar’s Jewish population, however, decreased beginning in the second half of the 15th century; by 1468 there were only two Jewish families remaining. Ultimately, in 1510 the town was authorized by the emperor to expel the remaining Jews; the expulsion was officially carried out in 1512.

The Jews from Colmar who had left the town voluntarily or after the expulsion, mostly settled in the surrounding area and continued trading with Colmar’s Christian residents. This ceased, however, in 1534 when the area’s Jews lost the right to trade within Colmar, and in 1541 it became forbidden for Jews to enter the town, even for markets and fairs. In the wake of the latter restriction Joseph (Joselmann) b. Gershon of Rosheim brought an action against the town, which continued for several years (the result of the case is unknown). Nonetheless, the Jews of Alsace maintained commercial relations with the burghers of Colmar during the 16th century, as evident from the numerous court cases recorded in that period.

Eventually, beginning in the 18th century a few Jews were granted authorization to live in Colmar, though they were permitted to live there only in eating houses and inns so that they could prepare kosher food for the Jews who came to Colmar to trade.

Colmar was affected by the Inquisition. In 1547, about 60 Marranos from the low countries were arrested in Colmar. They were released only after swearing that their destination was a Christian country, and not Turkey. Later, in 1754, Mirtzel Levi of Wittelsheim was martyred after an Inquisition trial.

After the French Revolution (1789-1799), Jews were once again allowed to settle in Colmar. The community grew in prominence, and in 1808 it became the seat of a consistory, with 25 dependent communities. In 1823 Colmar also became the seat of the chief rabbinate of Alsace (Haut-Rhin).

A synagogue was built in 1843.

The Jewish population numbered approximately 1,200 in 1929.

 

THE HOLOCAUST

The Jews in Colmar shared the fate of other Jews in Alsace and Moselle during World War II (1939-1945). They were expelled from their homes, and their synagogue was damaged.

 

POSTWAR

After the war the survivors rebuilt the Jewish community. The synagogue was returned to the community, which restored it, in 1959. The renewed community also established new institutions, including a community center. In 1969 there were over 1,000 Jews living in Colmar.

 

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Would you like to help us improving the content? Send us your suggestions
Synagogue in Colmar, Alsace, France. Postcard 1910
Synagogue in Colmar, Alsace, France.
Postcard 1910.
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot,
courtesy of Ilan Bloch, Jerusalem)
Image Purchase: For more details about image purchasing Click here, make sure you have the photo ID number (as appear above)

Colmar

Alsatian: Colmer

German: Kolmar

A town in the Alsace region, northeastern France. Colmar is located near the border with Germany. 
Between 1871-1918, and 1940-1945, Colmar was part of Germany.

 

21ST CENTURY

The synagogue is located on 3 rue de la Cigogne. The synagogue has the distinction of being the only one in the region with a bell tower.

The Katz Room, located in the Musée Bartholdi (located in the home of Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty), has a collection of Jewish ritual objects.

 

HISTORY

Among the earliest written evidence of a Jewish presence in Colmar dates from 1278. During the late 13th and through the 14th century, Colmar became a place of refuge for Jews from Rouffach, Mutzig, and other areas who were escaping persecutions and anti-Jewish violence.

Community institutions included a synagogue, a mikvah (ritual bath), a dance hall, and a cemetery. The synagogue was destroyed in a fire in 1297. The community’s Jews lived in a Jewish Quarter.

In the wake of the Black Death epidemic (1348-1349) the Jews of Colmar, like Jews throughout Europe, were subject to violence and persecutions. A number of Jews from Colmar were burned at the stake at the beginning of 1349; the place of their execution was subsequently known as "Judenloch.” The rest of the Jewish community was expelled from Colmar.

Jews were readmitted to Colmar in 1385 and were granted a cemetery from the town. In 1392 the community included at least 29 adults (possibly heads of families). Colmar’s Jewish population, however, decreased beginning in the second half of the 15th century; by 1468 there were only two Jewish families remaining. Ultimately, in 1510 the town was authorized by the emperor to expel the remaining Jews; the expulsion was officially carried out in 1512.

The Jews from Colmar who had left the town voluntarily or after the expulsion, mostly settled in the surrounding area and continued trading with Colmar’s Christian residents. This ceased, however, in 1534 when the area’s Jews lost the right to trade within Colmar, and in 1541 it became forbidden for Jews to enter the town, even for markets and fairs. In the wake of the latter restriction Joseph (Joselmann) b. Gershon of Rosheim brought an action against the town, which continued for several years (the result of the case is unknown). Nonetheless, the Jews of Alsace maintained commercial relations with the burghers of Colmar during the 16th century, as evident from the numerous court cases recorded in that period.

Eventually, beginning in the 18th century a few Jews were granted authorization to live in Colmar, though they were permitted to live there only in eating houses and inns so that they could prepare kosher food for the Jews who came to Colmar to trade.

Colmar was affected by the Inquisition. In 1547, about 60 Marranos from the low countries were arrested in Colmar. They were released only after swearing that their destination was a Christian country, and not Turkey. Later, in 1754, Mirtzel Levi of Wittelsheim was martyred after an Inquisition trial.

After the French Revolution (1789-1799), Jews were once again allowed to settle in Colmar. The community grew in prominence, and in 1808 it became the seat of a consistory, with 25 dependent communities. In 1823 Colmar also became the seat of the chief rabbinate of Alsace (Haut-Rhin).

A synagogue was built in 1843.

The Jewish population numbered approximately 1,200 in 1929.

 

THE HOLOCAUST

The Jews in Colmar shared the fate of other Jews in Alsace and Moselle during World War II (1939-1945). They were expelled from their homes, and their synagogue was damaged.

 

POSTWAR

After the war the survivors rebuilt the Jewish community. The synagogue was returned to the community, which restored it, in 1959. The renewed community also established new institutions, including a community center. In 1969 there were over 1,000 Jews living in Colmar.