General information: First Jewish presence: 1690; peak Jewish population: 233 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: 26
Summary: In 1680, the village elder of Gleicherwiesen, a man called “von Bibra,” granted residency rights to Jews. Local Jews were, however, obliged to pay protection money to the mayor until 1840. While not much is known about the Jewish community of Gleicherwiesen, records indicate that it established a synagogue, its first, in 1787. This synagogue was on several occasions enlarged to accommodate the village’s growing Jewish population, but in 1865, when Jews exceeded 200 in number, the community built a new house of worship. In the early 1900s, in response to growing anti-Semitism, Jews began to leave Gleicherwiesen, a process that intensified after the Jewish cemetery was vandalized. By 1933, only 26 Jews remained. The synagogue, plundered and incinerated on Pogrom Night, was torn down in 1943. The old cemetery—200 tombstones are still intact—is the only remnant of Gleicherwiesen’s Jewish community.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: DJKT, EJL, LJG, SIA
Located in: thuringia