General information: First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 351 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 314
Summary: In Goeppingen, Jews were murdered during the Black Death pogroms of 1348/49. Jews returned to the town in 1850, and a community was established there in 1867. In 1874, the rabbinate of Jebenhausen was moved to Goeppingen. Goeppingen grew into an important industrial center, with Jews contributing greatly to its economy. Beginning in 1867, the community maintained a prayer hall. Larger synagogues, built to accommodate the growing congregation, were inaugurated in 1872 and 1881; one of them was renovated and enlarged in 1925. Burials were conducted, beginning in 1904, in a designated section of the general cemetery. We also know that in September 1929, a synagogue service was broadcast on the radio, the first time this ever happened in Germany. In 1933, 314 Jews lived in Goeppingen. Several Jewish associations and branches of national organizations were active there, and 52 pupils received religious instruction. The community maintained a rich social and cultural life even during the Nazi period: in 1936, for example, a Jewish school was opened in Goeppingen. The synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night; Jewish stores were looted, a Jewish hotel was damaged and all Jewish men were sent to Dachau. In total, 259 local Jews emigrated, 98 relocated inside Germany, 17 died in Goeppingen and 84 in total were deported to Riga, Izbica and Theresienstadt in 1941 and 1942. At least 85 Goeppingen Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1971, a plaque was unveiled at the synagogue site, which was named Synagogenplatz (“Synagogue Square”) in 1999. A monument has been erected at the cemetery.
Photo: The synagogue of Goeppingen in 1881, the year of its inauguration. Courtesy of: Unknown.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg