General information: First Jewish presence: Middle Ages; peak Jewish population: 81 in 1855; Jewish population in 1933: approximately 35
Summary: Jews were massacred in Naumburg in 1494, two years after which their synagogue was destroyed. Further Jewish settlement was forbidden in 1499, but records of a court case from 1503 mention a Jew. By 1692, six Jewish families had moved to Naumburg. Between 1793 and 1795, the community built a new synagogue on Gerichtstrasse (present-day 9 Graf-Volkwin- Strasse); in 1844, the building was enlarged to accommodate a school (it housed an apartment for the teacher) and a mikveh, both of which were moved to the synagogue from other locations. Naumburg’s synagogue had a seating capacity of 67 (40 men, 27 women), additional seating for guests and an impressive array of brass lighting fixtures. In 1826, the Jews of Naumburg consecrated a new cemetery (it was also used by Jews from Elben, Altenstaedt and Martinhagen). Then part of the district of Wolfhagen, the community belonged to the provincial rabbinate in Kassel. In 1931/32, three children received religious instruction. A chevra kadisha was active in the community, with which (by 1933) the Jews of Altendorf, Altenstaedt, Elben, Heimarshausen and Riede had been affiliated. On October 3, 1938, the local police ordered Jews to leave town within four weeks. On November 11, 1938 (after Pogrom Night), SA men destroyed the synagogue’s interior, heavily damaged the mikveh and school, plundered and burned down the empty Rosenstein and Blumenkorn apartments and partially destroyed the Rosenstein family residence. Naumburg’s fire department the extinguished fires that were lit in the Rosenstein and Blumenkorn homes. According to eyewitnesses, Jews were detained near the stone quarry, guarded by SA men, while this was going on. The last community leader immigrated to Chile; his predecessor made it to Argentina. In all, five families emigrated—three went to South America and two to Israel. By November 1939, all Jews had left Naumburg, many of whom were deported from Kassel to Riga on December 9, 1941. At least 28 local Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site on November 14, 2004.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL
Located in: hesse