General information: First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 149 in 1824; Jewish population in 1933: 29
Summary: Jews were persecuted in Wassertruedingen during the Rindfleisch massacres of 1298 and during the Black Death pogroms of 1348/49. During the 17th and 18th centuries, however, the community developed into one of the wealthiest and most important Jewish communities in Middle Franconia. Wassertruedingen was home to a district rabbinate during the years 1681 to 1865, and had a Talmud Torah school from 1681 (perhaps earlier) to 1904. The Jewish community established a synagogue in the early 18th century, a new synagogue (at 38 Kapellgasse) in 1860, a mikveh and a community center. Jewish burials took place in Bechhofen. In 1933, two welfare organizations and a women’s association were active in the town. The community center was sold in 1938. On Pogrom Night, Nazis destroyed the synagogue’s interior and its ritual items; they tried to blow up the building, but were prevented from doing so by the inhabitants of neighboring houses. Two Jewish homes were vandalized, during the course of which one Jewish woman jumped out of a window. Six local Jews emigrated, 22 relocated within Germany and one died in Wassertruedingen. The last eight left before December 1938. At least 16 Wassertruedingen Jews perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue building, renovated after 1938, was still serving as an apartment building in 2005. A commemorative plaque has been unveiled there.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Located in: bavaria