General information: First Jewish presence: 18th century; peak Jewish population: 51 in 1868; Jewish population in 1933: 39
Summary: The Waldbreitbach synagogue, first documented in 1823, was located on Provinzial Strasse (present-day Neuwieder Strasse). This small Jewish community, with which the Jews of Niederbreitbach were affiliated, was not only able to maintain a mikveh and a cemetery, the latter of which was consecrated in 1830, but also hired a teacher of religion who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. In 1933, 39 Jews lived in Waldbreitbach. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue was burned to the ground as a crowd of local schoolchildren sang festive songs. The Jewish community was able to save several ritual objects and other items of property, as a Christian resident had warned local Jews of the impending attack. Five Jews, however, were arrested and taken to Neuwied. Waldbreitbach’s Jewish cemetery was desecrated during the Nazi period. Nineteen Jews emigrated; others relocated within Germany. In 1942, the remaining Jews were deported. At least 27 Waldbreitbach Jews and three from Niederbreitbach perished in the Shoah. Two survived the camps. In 1940, the synagogue’s ruins were cleared. A new building was later built on the site, next to which, in 1970, a memorial plaque was unveiled.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: EJL, LFD-RP, FGW, SIA