General information: First Jewish presence: 1707; peak Jewish population: 250 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 65
Summary: Although anti-Jewish riots broke out in the region in 1846, the community peaked in 1885 at 250 members. Records from 1771 mention a synagogue on Schmidtengasse; it was renovated in 1806 and remodeled in 1865. A Jewish school, presided over by a teacher who served as shochet and chazzan, was established in 1833 in the community center building, which also housed a mikveh. A cemetery was consecrated in Nonnenweier in 1880. By 1927, 15 Nonnenweier Jews had graduated from Heidelberg University. Among them was Dr. Ludwig Frank, a lawyer, socialist leader and Reichstag (national parliament) delegate. Dr. Frank volunteered to join the army in World War I, and was killed in France in 1914. In 1933, four Jewish schoolchildren studied religion in Nonnenweier. Charities and a branch of a Zionist organization were active in the town. The synagogue was incinerated on Pogrom Night, after which the site was leveled. The Torah scrolls, however, were saved by a Christian. Jewish men were sent to Dachau, where one died. At least 30 local Jews emigrated from Germany. On October 22, 1940, the town’s remaining 19 Jews were deported to Gurs. At least 34 Nonnenweier Jews perished in the Shoah. Today, a memorial stone and plaque commemorate the synagogue.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU, PK BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg