General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish presence: 105 in 1847; Jewish population in 1933: 33
Summary: In 1762, the Jews of Voelkersleier built a synagogue at 4 Frohnstrasse (the synagogue was renovated in 1927). The community maintained a mikveh and a community center, and, until the 1920s, employed a teacher of religion who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. Burials took place in Altengronau or in Pfaffenhausen. In 1933, six Jewish children studied religion in Voelkersleier with a teacher from Hammelburg. After the Passover of 1936, it became difficult for the community to gather a minyan; accordingly, the Jews of Dittlofsroda attended services in the Voelkersleier synagogue from March 1938 onwards. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), rioters ransacked Jewish homes and destroyed the synagogue’s interior, Torah scroll and ritual objects. After the pogrom, the synagogue was rented out to a private resident who converted it into a barn. In February 1939, local police reported that Voelkersleier’s Jewish community had ceased to exist. Seventeen Voelkersleier Jews emigrated (14 went to the United States) and nine relocated within Germany. Four were deported to Izbica, via Wuerzburg, in April 1942; the village’s remaining two Jews were moved to Wuerzburg in June of that year, after which, in September, they were deported to Theresienstadt. At least 19 Voelkersleier Jews perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue was demolished in the 1970s. A memorial plaque was unveiled at the former Jewish community center.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Located in: bavaria