General information: First Jewish presence: 1804; peak Jewish population: 70 in 1908; Jewish population in 1933: 45
Summary: The Jewish community of Woellstein, with which the Jews of nearby Siefersheim were affiliated, was founded in 1820. From around the year 1810 to the year 1850, religious services were conducted in a prayer hall established in a private residence at 7 Kreuznacher Strasse; in 1850 or 1855, however, the prayer hall was moved to the neighboring house (5 Kreuznacher Strasse). The Jewish community was able to employ a teacher of religion until the outbreak of WWI, after which Jewish schoolchildren studied religion with a teacher from Fuerf. Woellstein’s Jewish cemetery, consecrated in 1820, was located on Im Oelberg. After April 1933, local Jews were often arrested and sent to the Woellstein prison or to the Osthofen concentration camp. Later, on Pogrom Night or shortly afterwards, SA men destroyed the prayer hall. Thirty-five local students from the senior high school destroyed a Jewish store, a Jewish woman was assaulted and the house and property of the last Jewish family still in Siefersheim were destroyed. A few days later, on November 12, 1938, Adolf May, the Woellstein community’s shochet, was murdered by a member of the SS; his son, Albert, disappeared. Ten Jews left Woellstein after the pogrom. In September 1942, the remaining eight Jews were deported, most of them to Theresienstadt. At least 14 Woellstein Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1995, the building that used to house the second prayer hall was given the status of an historical monument.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn