General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 218 in 1814 (22.5% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 22
Summary: The Jewish community of Hoechberg established its first synagogue in 1661, a new synagogue in 1720/21, a cemetery in 1821 and a school in 1820, the last of which was closed in 1869. Local Jews maintained a mikveh and, from 1828 until 1886, employed their own rabbi. One of Germany’s last Kabbalists, Rabbi Elhanan Hillel Wechsler (1843-1894), better known as Rabbi Hillel Wechsler, lived in Hoechberg. In 1861, the community’s Talmud Torah school (founded in 1841) became a religious preparatory school for the Wuerzburg teachers’ seminary. The renowned school moved to Wuerzburg in 1931. On Pogrom Night, SA men destroyed the synagogue’s interior, furnishings, ancient lamps and Torah scrolls. They also broke into a Jewish home and smashed its furniture and windows; the homeowner was sent to Dachau, where he eventually died. Most local Jews relocated to other German towns during the 1930s, but four managed to emigrate. In April 1942, four of the six remaining Jews were deported to Izbica (via Wuerzburg); the other two were sent to Theresienstadt (also via Wuerzburg) in September of that year. At least 21 Hoechberg Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was converted into a church in 1951.
Author / Sources: Yaakov Borut
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria