General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 170 in 1867; Jewish population in 1933: 39
Summary: The Jews of Feuchtwangen established a community and a synagogue in the early 17th century. The community, home to a regional rabbinate during the first half of the 18th century, was one of the wealthiest in the area. A new synagogue was built in 1832/1833, and although local Jews were able to maintain their own mikveh, they conducted burials in Schopfloch. In 1933, two chevra kadisha associations (one for men, the other for women) and a charitable society were still active in Feuchtwangen. Two children received religious instruction that year. In October 1936, the community’s leader was arrested on trumped-up charges; his wife was taken into “protective” custody, and both were expelled from the town after their release. On December 20, 1937, Nazi authorities sent a mob of 400 people into Feuchtwangen’s streets demanding the expulsion of all Jews. The police arrested several Jews for their own “protection,” and one Jewish home was destroyed, its owner assaulted. By 1938, no Jews lived in Feuchtwangen. Nevertheless, the synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night. Six local Jews managed to emigrate, but most were forced to relocate to other towns in Germany. At least 30 Feuchtwangen Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1984, a commemorative plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site.
Photo: The almemor (podium) in the synagogue of Feuchtwangen. Courtesy of: The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, the Harburger Collection, Art. No. P160/393.
Author / Sources: Magret Liat Wolf
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria