General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 132 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 38
Summary: The medieval Jewish community of Schriesheim was annihilated in the Black Death pogroms of 1348/49. It was not until the 17th century that a new Jewish community emerged there. Local Jews congregated in a private prayer room, established in 1807, until 1843, when the community converted a former church into a synagogue. Schriesheim was also home to a Jewish community center—it housed a mikveh, a school and a teacher’s apartment—but the date of its construction is not known. Records do tell us, however, that the center was sold in 1897, after which the school was moved to the local pastor’s former house, near the synagogue. The community consecrated a cemetery on In der Ploeck in 1874. In 1933, a teacher from Leutershausen instructed three Jewish schoolchildren in religion. A chevra kadisha was active in Leutershausen that year. Later, on Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed; books, rugs and furniture were burned outside the village. Twenty-six local Jews emigrated, nine relocated within Germany and two died in Schriesheim. The town’s remaining Jews left Schriesheim in September 1939. At least 21 Schriesheim Jews perished in the Shoah. Today, the residential building standing on the former synagogue site bears a plaque (unveiled in 1988). The cemetery contains a plaque (unveiled in 1998) and a monument (erected in 2005).
Photo: Lore Tobis née Sussmann at the entrance to the synagogue of Schriesheim in 1937. Courtesy of: Lore Tobias.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg