General information: First Jewish presence: 1190; peak Jewish population: 296 in 1932; Jewish population in 1933: 273
Summary: The modern Jewish community of Limburg traced its roots to the arrival, during the 12th century, of Jewish expellees from France. Jews were persecuted in Limburg during the turbulent 14th century, after which they were banished from the town for decades. It was during the 14th century, too, that the Jews of Limburg established a synagogue, a social hall and a mikveh. Between the 15th and 18th centuries, local Jews conducted services in the cellar of a private residence (still standing in 1930). Very few Jewish families lived in Limburg during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, and those who did constantly faced bans and discrimination. In 1844, 14 Jewish families lived in Limburg, most of them poor. The economy improved in the mid-19th century, however, and local Jews opened a number of businesses: two large clothing stores, a shoe store, several butcher shops, a soap factory and a private bank. In 1867, the Jewish congregation acquired a chapel and remodeled the building into a synagogue with 80 seats. In response to growing population numbers, a new synagogue (with 201 seats for men, 104 for women) was inaugurated on Unteren Schiede in 1903. It is not clear when the community consecrated the Jewish cemetery on Judenschiede, but records do tell us that it was closed in 1820, after which two other burial sites were used until 1939. The synagogue was looted on Pogrom Night, as were other Jewish-owned properties. The remaining Jews were deported in 1942; in 1944/45, several Jews, all married to ethnic Germans, were taken for forced labor. At least 20 of the deported Jews died. A small memorial plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site in 1981; the cemetery on Beethovenstrasse also houses a plaque, placed there in 1988. Limburg’s new Jewish congregation (200 congregants in 2006) was founded in 1998.
Photo: The burned synagogue of Limburg after Pogrom Night. Courtesy of: City Archive of Limburg.
Author / Sources: Swetlana Frank
Sources: EJL, FJG, LJG, SIA
Located in: hesse