General information: First Jewish presence: 1654; peak Jewish population: 79 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 55
Summary: Nastaetten’s Jewish cemetery was consecrated in 1664, by which point the community had established a prayer room in a private residence on the corner of Roemerstrasse and Poststrasse. Although the town was home to the rabbinate of the county of Katzenelnbogen until 1830, it was not until 1904 that the community inaugurated a synagogue (on Rheinstrasse). Local Jews also maintained a mikveh and a school, the latter of which was presided over by a schoolteacher who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. In 1933, two schoolchildren received religious instruction. A Jewish women’s association and a youth association (founded in January 1933) were active in the community. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed, and Jewish men were arrested and sent to a concentration camp. The synagogue building was torn down in March 1939, after which the site was used as a parking lot. In all, 15 Nastaetten Jews emigrated; others relocated in Germany. In January 1941, the remaining Jews were sent to a concentration camp. At least 32 local Jews died in the Shoah. The cemetery was desecrated and plundered during the Nazi period. In July 1987, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Yehoshua Ahrens
Sources: AJ, EJL, FJW