General information: First Jewish presence: 1610; peak Jewish population: 178 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 109
Summary: The Jewish community of Gladenbach, formed in 1720, established a prayer room and employed a teacher. The community’s first synagogue, built in 1814, was soon unable to accommodate the influx of Jews from Eastern Europe. By 1880, the synagogue had deteriorated to such an extent that the community decided to build a new house of worship; this new synagogue was inaugurated in 1891. Local Jews were well-integrated members of the community, and several even served on the town council. This peaceful coexistence ended after the Nazi party came to power: Nazi aggression was intense in Gladenbach, and most Jews were forced to leave the town. By 1935, with only 13 Jews still living in Gladenbach, the synagogue was abandoned. On Pogrom Night, the mayor, wishing to appropriate the synagogue building for the municipality’s use, implored the Nazis not to burn it down. They agreed, but not before smashing its windows and furniture. Despite the mayor’s calculating intervention, the building was demolished in 1939. A memorial plaque was later unveiled at the former synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: AJ, EJL, LJG, SIA, DJGH
Located in: hesse