General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 50 families in 1903 (200 Jews); Jewish population in 1933: 140
Summary: Vallendar’s modern Jewish community was founded in 1865. Jews conducted services in a prayer room, established in 1795 in a house on Loehrgasse, until 1857, when a synagogue was inaugurated on Eulerstrasse (formerly Eulsgasse). Adjacent to the synagogue were a mikveh and a school, the latter of which was presided over by a teacher who also performed the duties of shochet and chazzan. The community consecrated a cemetery in 1920, prior to which burials were conducted in Weitersburg. In 1933, 12 Jewish schoolchildren received religious instruction. A Jewish women’s association and a society for Jewish history and literature were active in the community. On Pogrom Night, SA men vandalized the synagogue and forced Jewish men to carry the Torah scrolls to the police headquarters. Two days later, the synagogue and Torah scrolls were burned, but not before the Gestapo had confiscated valuable ritual objects. Jewish-owned homes and businesses were damaged, and Jewish men were arrested. Forty-one Jews, the town’s last, were deported to the East in 1942. At least 89 Vallendar Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1957, the synagogue site was sold to a metalworker who subsequently erected a residential building and workshop there. A memorial plaque was unveiled at the site in 1987; and in 1991, the extant synagogue ruins—mainly its eastern wall—were incorporated into a memorial.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AJ, EJL, FGW