General information: First Jewish presence: 1743; peak Jewish population: 104 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 18
Summary: The modern Jewish community of Sandhausen developed in the 19th century. Jews conducted services in Leimen and Wiesloch until 1840, when the community purchased a house on Bahnhofstrasse and converted it into a prayer hall and schoolroom. After 1867, when an old church at 115 Hauptstrasse was converted into a synagogue, the prayer hall was used as living quarters for the community’s teachers. In Sandhausen, teachers also served as cantors and ritual slaughterers. The community maintained its own mikveh, but used the Wiesloch cemetery. By 1938, it had become nearly impossible to gather ten men for a minyan; accordingly, the synagogue was sold to the town council in October 1938. One month later, on Pogrom Night, rioters destroyed the synagogue’s interior and ransacked Jewish homes; the three remaining Jewish men were sent to Dachau. Four local Jews immigrated to the United States, five relocated within Germany, two passed away in Sandhausen and seven, the last, were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 15 Sandhausen Jews perished in the Shoah. The schoolhouse on Bahnhofstrasse was demolished in 1945. In 1962, after a series of renovations, the former synagogue was re-opened as a cultural center; a memorial stone was placed there in 1961.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg