General information: First Jewish presence: 1587; peak Jewish population: 133 in 1814 (31.1% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 35
Summary: The Jewish community of Reichenberg, officially founded in the mid-18th century, established a synagogue at 11 Schinderberg in 1797 (renovated in 1877). The community also maintained a school presided over by a teacher who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. Local Jews buried their dead in Allersheim and, after November 1941, in Wuerzburg. In 1933, a teacher from Wuerzburg instructed five Jewish schoolchildren in religion. The synagogue’s furniture and ritual objects were destroyed on Pogrom Night. All Reichenberg’s Jewish men were sent to the Wuerzburg prison, and deported from there to Buchenwald, where one died. In September 1939, the windows and doors of the remaining six Jewish homes were broken. The following month, one Jew committed suicide. Nevertheless, the community remained active until April 1942, a rare example of a small Jewish community functioning right up until the deportations. Eleven Reichenberg Jews emigrated and four relocated within Germany. In April 1942, 12 were deported to Izbica (via Wuerzburg); six were deported to Theresienstadt in September of the same year; and the last two were deported to Auschwitz in June 1943. At least 31 Reichenberg Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building later served as a church. Converted into apartments in 1972, the building now bears a memorial plaque.
Photo: The synagogue of Reichenberg. Courtesy of Unknown.
Author / Sources: Yaakov Borut
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria