General information: First Jewish presence: 1278; peak Jewish population: 97 in 1867; Jewish population in 1933: 42
Summary: During the 18th century, the Jewish community of Windsbach (officially founded in 1697) conducted religious services in a prayer hall. Although the community later established a synagogue, the building was deemed structurally unsafe in the 1840s and was closed down, after which, in 1850, a new synagogue—the building also housed a school and a mikveh—was inaugurated on Hauptstrasse (the address later became 2 Heinrich Brandt Strasse). After 1929, the Windsbach and Altenmuhr communities jointly employed a teacher of religion, who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. Jewish burials took place in Georgensgmuend. On October 19, 1938, Windsbach’s remaining 20 Jews were forced to sign a declaration stating that they would vacate the town by March 1, 1939. On Pogrom Night, the town’s Jews were assembled in the gymnasium while their homes were ransacked and plundered. Windows in the synagogue were smashed, and the interior and ritual objects were destroyed. Seven Windsbach Jews emigrated, 27 relocated within Germany and three died in Windsbach. All local Jews, except for one Jewish woman who was married to a Christian, had left the town by December 1938. At least 28 Windsbach Jews perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue building, used for various purposes over the years, eventually became a dental clinic. As of this writing, a commemorative plaque has not been unveiled there.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BAV
Located in: bavaria