General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 71 in 1828; Jewish population in 1933: 73
Summary: By 1828, most local Jews had established themselves as cattle and horse traders, textile and grain merchants and shopkeepers. In 1854, the community replaced its mikveh and prayer room with a synagogue on Synagogenstrasse, or “synagogue street” (present-day Charlottenburg); later, in 1922, another synagogue—with 92 seats for men, 51 for women—was inaugurated on Amtsgerichtsstrasse. As was the case in many German communities, Lich’s Jewish school was presided over by a teacher who performed the duties of shochet and chazzan. We also know that burials were conducted at the cemetery on Am Hardtberg, which had been consecrated, at the latest, at the beginning of the 19th century. Violent anti-Semitic riots erupted in Lich in 1933, riots in which the SA assaulted Jews and vandalized their property. By the spring of 1938, 56 Jews had left Lich. On Pogrom Night, local Jewish men were deported to Buchenwald, where one died. Rioters destroyed the synagogue’s interior, burned ritual objects in the street and looted Jewish homes. French POWs were housed in the synagogue during the war. The last five Jews of Lich were deported to Auschwitz in 1942. At least 34 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The town council moved its offices to the synagogue building in 1948, and it was not until 2006 that the site was converted into a memorial. Earlier, in 1988, a memorial was unveiled in front of the local church.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL
Located in: hesse