General information: First Jewish presence: 19th century; peak Jewish population: 34 in 1828; Jewish population in 1933: 9
Summary: In the early 19th century, the Jewish communities of Goddelau and Wolfskehlen established a joint congregation, of which the Jews of Erfelden were also members until 1877. Burials were conducted in Gross-Gerau. In 1907, the community inaugurated a synagogue on Sackgasse. In Goddelau, Jewish teachers not only instructed Jewish children in religion, but also served as prayer leaders and ritual slaughterers. Five Jewish families lived in Goddelau when the Nazis came to power, soon after which Jews were persecuted by locals and the town authorities. Most Goddelau Jews emigrated from or relocated within Germany after 1933, so that in in 1939 only seven Jews lived in the town. On Pogrom Night, SA men from Starkenberg looted and demolished Jewish-owned property; furniture in the synagogue was broken, a Torah scroll was set on fire and windows were smashed in a Jewish home. By the end of 1940, the remaining five Jews were sent to Frankfurt and, from there, to the death camps; in 1942, eight Jews from the local psychiatric hospital were deported to the Nazis’ Hadamar Euthanasia Center, where they were murdered. Between 20 and 27 Goddelau Jews perished in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Swetlana Frank
Located in: hesse