General information: First Jewish presence: 18th century; peak Jewish population: 72 in 1816 (13.8% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 23
Summary: The Schonungen synagogue, built in the late 1700s (possibly early 1800s), was renovated extensively in 1850/51. In 1850, 14 pupils attended the community’s Jewish school. Although local Jews were able to maintain a community center with classrooms and a mikveh, they buried their dead in Kleinsteinach. In 1856, three years after the synagogue burned down in a fire, the community inaugurated a new house of worship. By the 1920s, however, the Jewish population had dwindled to such an extent that it had become difficult to gather a minyan. Accordingly, a teacher from Schweinfurt was hired to instruct Schonungen’s remaining Jewish children On Pogrom Night, the synagogue interior was destroyed, as were its contents. Several Jewish homes were destroyed, and the remaining Jews were abused. Eight Schonungen Jews emigrated and six relocated within Germany. In April 1942, six were deported to Izbica (via Wuerzburg); one Jewish woman was sent to Wuerzburg in May of that year (her fate is unknown). Schonungen’s last Jews, an elderly couple, were deported to Theresienstadt, also via Wuerzburg, in September 1942. At least eight Schonungen Jews perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue, later used by the fire brigade, also served as a garage and a private residence. A memorial tablet and stone were unveiled at the site.
Author / Sources: Dorothea Shefer-Vanson
Sources: AJ, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria