General information: First Jewish presence: 1470; peak Jewish population: 169 in 1852; Jewish population in 1933: 53
Summary: Community records indicate that by 1767 Walldorf ’s Jews had established a prayer hall in a residence at 45 Hauptstrasse. Local Jews opened a synagogue (in a former Protestant church) in 1861 and a school in 1835, the latter of which closed in 1876. Burials were conducted in Wiesloch until 1880, when a Jewish cemetery was consecrated in Walldorf. In 1933, five Jewish schoolchildren studied religion in the town. A chevra kadisha and a Jewish women’s association were active there. Local Jewish men were sent to Dachau on Pogrom Night, when rioters demolished the synagogue’s interior and Torah Ark, vandalized three homes and looted Jewish-owned stores. Later, the street on which the synagogue stood— Synagogenstrasse, or “synagogue street”—was renamed SA Strasse. Twenty-one Jews emigrated, 10 died in Walldorf (including three women who committed suicide, one on Pogrom Night) and 21 were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 27 Walldorf Jews perished during the Shoah. The prayer room building, now a residence, bears a memorial plaque. The street name Synagogenstrasse was reinstated after the war and, in 1954, the synagogue was converted into a church; it, too, bears a memorial plaque. Commemorative plaques were unveiled at the general cemetery in 1985.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH. AJ, EJL, HU, PK BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg