General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century (see below); peak Jewish population: unknown; Jewish population in 1933: 591
Summary: According to the available records, Aschaffenburg’s 14th- century Jewish community maintained its own synagogue. The community was nearly annihilated during the Armleder massacres (1336-39) and the Black Death pogroms (1348/49). In 1696, in response to an increase in the number of Jews moving to Aschaffenburg, a new synagogue was built on Dalbergstrasse/Rathausgasse. It was not until 1893 that the community established a more spacious synagogue (on Entengasse). In the 19th century, Aschaffenburg became the seat of a district rabbinate. The rabbinate’s building, adjacent to the synagogue, housed a school, a mikveh, an apartment for the rabbi and a hostel for the poor. We also know that, between 1735 and 1890, burials were conducted in the Am Erbig cemetery near Schweinheim. In 1890, the community consecrated a cemetery next to the churchyard in the old part of town. Six hundred and seventy Jews lived in Aschaffenburg in 1910, by which point several Jewish organizations were active in the community: charities, a chevra kadisha, Zionist groups, a branch of the Central Union, etc. Raphael Breuer served as rabbi between 1909 and 1932, as did Fritz Bloch between 1932 and 1938. In 1933, the community numbered 591 members. Later, in 1938, teacher Leo Schloss celebrated 25 years of service to the community. On Pogrom Night, plainclothes SA men burned down the synagogue, damaged Jewish homes and shops and shot two Jews, one fatally. Twenty Jews were arrested on Pogrom Night, as were six others on November 12; most were eventually released. In 1942, approximately 188 local Jews were deported to Izbica and to Theresienstadt. According to records, Otto Wolfsthal and six other local Jews committed suicide. The former synagogue site, renamed Wolfsthalplatz, was converted into a memorial center in 1984.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn; Sources: AJ, EJL, MSSA, PK-BAV, SAJFE
Located in: bavaria