General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 29 in 1871 and 1895; Jewish population in1933: 23
Summary: The Jewish community of Battenfeld, founded in or around 1750, established a cemetery in the mid-18th century; a prayer hall by 1777; a Jewish elementary school—it was presided over by a teacher who also served as chazzan and shochet—in 1825; and a new building for the school, located next to the synagogue, in 1905. The synagogue, renovated in the early 20th century, seated 65 men and 42 women. The school closed down in 1923, after which a teacher instructed the few remaining schoolchildren in religion. In 1933, 23 Jews lived in Battenfeld. The Jews of Battenberg (33), Laisa (6) and Rennerthausen (9) were affiliated with the community. The synagogue was burned to the ground on Pogrom Night. Two Jewish homes were ransacked, and Jewish men in Rennerthausen were arrested. The community was later forced to sell the synagogue site and school building. We also know that the cemetery was desecrated in 1938, and that many headstones were later used as building material. Seven Jews emigrated to the United States; the others relocated within Germany. Six Jews remained in Battenberg, and were deported to the East in 1942. At least six Battenfeld Jews and eight from Battenberg perished in the Shoah. The cemetery was renovated after the war by order of the American military authorities.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse