General information: First Jewish presence: 1682; peak Jewish population: 178 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 226
Summary: Records from 1682 mention two Jewish families in Langenselbold. A Jewish community developed there in the late 17th or early 18th century. In the years 1682 to 1714, services were conducted in a synagogue at 17 Rotehohl, after which the community attended a synagogue on the Judengasse (“Jews’ alley”). In 1849, a synagogue was established in a farmhouse at 41 Steinweg; the dedication of a new Torah scroll was celebrated there in 1903, and we also know that the synagogue was enlarged in 1907. Other communal institutions included a mikveh, a cemetery (18th century) and a Jewish elementary school (closed in 1934), the last of which was located at 43 Steinweg and was presided over by a teacher who also served as shochet and chazzan. The community was affiliated with the rabbinate of Hanau. In 1933, 226 Jews lived in Langenselbold. That year, a teacher instructed 11 schoolchildren at Jewish elementary school. Four welfare associations looked after the sick: an Israelite women’s association (1905), two benevolent societies and a Schomer Mizwoh-Verein, or “association of the mitzvah-observant” (1923). The town council introduced severe anti-Jewish measures in 1935, whereupon several Jewish families emigrated or moved to other German cities. On Pogrom Night, SA troops and members of the local Hitler Youth damaged the synagogue’s interior, smashed its windows, burned Torah scrolls in the courtyard and destroyed the community’s hearse. Jewish men were arrested and sent to Buchenwald. In 1939, 96 Jews lived in Langenselbold, 17 of whom moved to Frankfurt am Main. The remaining Jews were deported in 1941 and 1942. Records tell us that the synagogue was converted into a kindergarten belonging to the Nazi Welfare Organization in 1941. At least 110 Langenselbold Jews perished in the Shoah. Sold to a physician after the war, the synagogue building was converted into an apartment building in the 1960s. In 1988, a memorial plaque was affixed to the local Protestant church.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Located in: hesse