General information: First Jewish presence: 1270; peak Jewish population: 82 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 66
Summary: Cham’s modern Jewish community was founded during the second half of the 19th century. The community belonged to the rabbinates of Sulzbuer, Regensburg-Neumarkt and Regensburg, respectively. Local Jews consecrated a cemetery in 1889, and we also know that in 1895 the community established a prayer hall on the upper floor of an inn at 4 Propsteistrasse (the building also housed a school). In Cham, the Jewish teacher performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. In 1933, nine children studied religion in Cham; a women’s association and a welfare organization for transients were active there. In December 1936, a violent anti-Jewish demonstration took place in the town. Although Nazis set fire to the prayer hall on Pogrom Night, the blaze was extinguished by neighboring residents; the ritual objects and documents were, however, confiscated. All Jews were imprisoned, and the men were sent to Dachau. Forty-three local Jews emigrated, 12 relocated within Germany and seven died in Cham. One was deported to Piaski (in Poland), via Regensburg, in April 1942. At least 25 Cham Jews perished in the Shoah. The prayer hall, reopened in 1945, was used until 1970 by the surviving Jewish community; a commemorative plaque was unveiled there in 1991. The cemetery was desecrated in 1949 and again in 1977.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawryzn
Located in: bavaria