General information: First Jewish presence: 1631; peak Jewish population: 244 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 84
Summary: Although the Jews of Lichtenau were persecuted during the anti-Jewish riots of 1848, the community peaked at 244 members in 1871. Beginning in the 1730s, religious services were conducted in a private residence. In Lichtenau, Jewish children attended regular schools and studied religion at the teacher’s house (built in 1808). In 1810, the community inaugurated a synagogue on Schmiedstrasse (present-day Synagogenstrasse, or “synagogue street”) with 50 seats for men and 36 for women. After 1830, local Jews conducted burials at the Freistatt cemetery. We also know that ritual bath houses were built in Lichtenau in 1835 (in the school basement), in 1855 and in 1903 (behind the synagogue). In 1862, Lazarus Lehmann was appointed teacher/chazzan, a post he held for 65 years. In 1933, 13 schoolchildren studied religion in Lichtenau; a Jewish men’s and a Jewish women’s association were active in the town that year. On Pogrom Night, rioters plundered the synagogue’s interior and destroyed ritual objects; local Jewish men were sent to Dachau, where two were shot. Twenty Lichtenau Jews emigrated, 26 relocated within Germany, 10 died in Lichtenau, one committed suicide and 24 were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 30 Lichtenau Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was demolished in 1940; in 1986, a memorial stone was unveiled there.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, PK BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg