General information: First Jewish presence: 1599; peak Jewish population: 153 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 76
Summary: The Jewish community of Schotten, founded in the 17th century, established a cemetery in the early 1700s and a community center—it housed a prayer room, a schoolroom and an apartment for a teacher who served as chazzan and shochet—in 1789. Schotten Jews opened an elementary school in 1820 and a new synagogue (at 54 Hauptstrasse, or present-day 156 Vogelsbergstrasse) in 1863; next to the synagogue, in an adjacent building, were the mikveh, school and teacher’s apartment. The cemetery was enlarged in 1886, and we also know that the synagogue underwent renovations, during which the walls were adorned with paintings, in 1929. Schotten’s Jewish elementary school was dissolved in 1894, but children were able to continue studying religion with the teacher. In 1933, 76 Jews lived in Schotten; nine schoolchildren received religious instruction. Jewish women’s and men’s associations, two charitable organizations and a branch of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith were active in the community, to which the three Jews of Rainrod had been affiliated. Local Jewish men were arrested and brutally beaten in 1934. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), rioters vandalized and looted Jewish homes, destroyed the interiors of the synagogue and school and stole valuable ritual objects. Eighteen Schotten Jews emigrated, 32 relocated within Germany, one died in a psychiatric institution (apparently murdered in the Nazis’ euthanasia program) and six passed away in Schotten. In September 1942, six local Jews were deported to Theresienstadt and six to Auschwitz. At least 48 Schotten Jews lost their lives in the Shoah. Acquired by a new owner after 1945, the synagogue was eventually converted into a residential and storage building. A memorial plaque commemorates Schotten’s Jewish community.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse