Malsch, near Wiesloch

General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 123 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 40
Summary: This community initially conducted services in a private residence. In 1834, a synagogue was built at Brunnengasse; its mikveh, referred to as the Judenbrunnen (the “Jews’ well”) was fed by a spring which, in times of drought, was the village’s only water source. In 1894, a neighboring building was renovated to house a Jewish school and an apartment for a teacher, who also served as the shochet and chazzan. The community conducted burials in Mingolsheim and Eichtersheim. In 1933, five schoolchildren studied religion in Malsch; a Jewish-owned cigarette factory employed 20 workers that year. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue’s interior, furniture and ritual objects were destroyed; Jewish homes, the last two Jewish-owned businesses and other Jewish properties were heavily damaged; all Jewish men were sent to Dachau. In 1939, the synagogue was demolished and the site purchased by the town. Twenty-one local Jews emigrated, five relocated within Germany, one died in Malsch and 15 were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 27 Malsch Jews perished in the Shoah. The Judenbrunnen was dismantled in 1952, after which the well was integrated into the town’s water supply system. The school building was pulled down in the 1960s. A memorial stone and a plaque commemorate the Jews of Malsch.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg