General information: First Jewish presence: 18th century; peak Jewish population: 111 in 1905 (10% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 83
Summary: In 1870, the Wachenbuchen Jewish community built a synagogue at 34 Alt Wachenbuchen, replacing an older prayer room; renovated in 1910, the new building seated 78 worshipers (50 men and 28 women). The community maintained a mikveh, established in the mid-19th century, and a Jewish elementary school, whose teacher also served as chazzan and shochet. Burials were conducted in Hanau. Ten pupils attended the Jewish school in 1933; the school was closed down that year, but Jewish children continued to study religion in Wachenbuchen. A Jewish women’s association, a society that cared for the sick and a youth movement were active in Wachenbuchen in 1933. On November 8, 1938, two days before Pogrom Night, Nazis wounded the Jewish teacher and destroyed the interior of the synagogue and that of the school. The rest of the school was destroyed the following night. Seventeen Jews emigrated (10 went to the United States) and others relocated within Germany, mainly to Frankfurt. Wachenbuchen’s last Jews left after the pogrom. At least 46 local Jews died in the Shoah. In 1943, the former synagogue building was converted into a POW camp. Remodeled as a Protestant church in 1950 and sold to a private citizen in 1953, the building was eventually converted into a metalwork shop with a residence on the upper floor. A memorial plaque was unveiled at the site in 1984.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse