Bad Cannstatt

General information: First Jewish presence: 1471; peak Jewish population: 484 in 1900; Jewish population in 1933: 261
Summary: Few Jews lived in Bad Cannstatt during the Middle Ages, but records from 1471 mention a Jewish presence there. Jews settled in the area again in 1826, after which their numbers grew steadily. A Jewish community was founded in 1871, and although Bad Cannstatt was incorporated into Stuttgart in 1905, the community remained independent until 1936 (at which point it became an affiliate of the Jewish community in Stuttgart). The Jews of Cannstatt opened a prayer hall in 1867 (they had used a private home for this purpose during the preceding seven years). In 1876, a synagogue with seating capacity for 85 persons was inaugurated at 49 Koenigstrasse (present- day Koenig-Karl-Strasse). Renovated on several occasions, the last of which was as late as 1938, this Liberal synagogue housed an organ. In 1910, Cannstatt’s Orthodox Jews set up a prayer room in a private residence at 84 Koenigstrasse. The community began, in 1880, to offer classes in religion at 7 Brunnenstrasse; the teacher also functioned as chazzan and shochet. A cemetery was consecrated in 1872 and enlarged in 1915 and 1929. In 1933, 261 Jews lived in Bad Cannstatt: twenty- four children received religious instruction, and the town was home to several Jewish associations and branches of nationwide Jewish organizations. The Jewish communities of Backnang, Nuertingen and Waiblingen were affiliates of Bad Cannstatt. The synagogue was completely burned down on Pogrom Night. Windows in a Jewish-owned business were broken, and Jewish men were sent to the Welzheim and Dachau camps. The synagogue ruins were cleared at the Jewish community’s expense. Most Bad Cannstatt Jews managed to emigrate. Eighteen local Jews were deported to the East and to Theresienstadt between 1941 and 1943, and at least 57 perished in the Shoah. The municipality purchased the former synagogue site in 1947. A memorial stone was unveiled there in 1961, and the town square was converted into a memorial site in 2004.
Author / Sources: Yehoshua Arens and Nurit Borut; Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg