General information: First Jewish presence: 1676; peak Jewish population: 219 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 26
Summary: The Jewish community of Rust established a prayer room in 1746, a synagogue on Ritterstrasse in 1857 and an elementary school in 1835. As was the case with all of Baden’s confessional schools, Rust’s Jewish school was closed in 1876, after which the community employed a teacher who also served as a chazzan and shochet. Burials were conducted at the Schmieheim cemetery. By the early 1930s it had become impossible to find enough men for a minyan; accordingly, the town’s remaining Jews prayed in Altdorf. In 1933, a teacher from Emmendingen instructed Rust’s schoolchildren in religion. On Pogrom Night, SA men broke into the synagogue and demolished the interior. Jewish homes were damaged, and three men were sent to Dachau. Seventeen local Jews emigrated, one moved to Berlin and nine, the last, were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. Seven were released from the camp, and emigrated from Germany. At least 26 local Jews were murdered in the Shoah. The synagogue building was heavily damaged by French artillery in 1940. In 1941, the municipality bought the site; and in 1965, a bank purchased the building and pulled it down. A memorial plaque has been affixed to the warehouse constructed on the site where the synagogue once stood.
Photo: The run-down building of the former synagogue of Rust after World War II. Courtesy of: Municipality of Rust.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH AJ, EJL, PK BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg