Nuremberg [Nürenberg / Nuerenberg]

General information: First Jewish presence: 1112; peak Jewish population: 9,280 in 1922; Jewish population in 1933: approximately 9,000
Summary: The earliest record of a Jewish presence in Nuremberg is dated 1112. Jewish communities were destroyed in Nuremberg in 1298 and again in 1349. All Jews were expelled from the city in 1499, and it was not until the 19th century that Jews re-established a presence there. Nuremberg Jews established a Jewish religious association in 1859, and, in 1862, an official community, which became Franconia’s major Jewish community and the second-largest in Bavaria. The city’s first synagogue was inaugurated in 1296. In the 13th century, Nuremberg was home to a Jewish cemetery and a famous yeshiva. (Several leading scholars, including Mahari Weil and Yaakov Polak, would later head the yeshiva.) The synagogue was destroyed during the Black Death pogroms of 1349 and replaced by a church. A new synagogue was built a few years later, and we also know that the city authorities closed the yeshiva in 1406. Nuremberg’s modern Jewish community initially conducted services in rented prayer halls. A regional rabbinate was established in the city in 1872, and in 1874 the community inaugurated a grand synagogue with a seating capacity of 935. Orthodox Jews founded their own religious association, the Adat Israel, in 1875. Adat Israel inaugurated a synagogue—the building also housed a mikveh—in 1902; in 1908, after reaching an agreement with the mainstream community, Adat Israel employed an Orthodox rabbi. Yet another synagogue was inaugurated in 1917 by the Achiezer association of Eastern European Jews. Nuremberg was home to a Talmud Torah, its first, from 1859 until 1869. Adat Israel founded anotherTalmudTorahin1908andanelementary school in 1921. In 1926, after the elementary school became the community’s general school, thebuildingwasenlarged.TwoJewishcemeteries were consecrated in Nuremberg: one in 1864, the other in 1910. In 1933, approximately 9,000 Jews lived in the city. The regional rabbi was Max Freudenthal (who was replaced in 1934 by Hans Andorn), and the Orthodox rabbi was Abraham Yitzhak Klein. Many Jewish associations and branches of nation-wide organizations were active in the community that year. Nuremberg, a Nazi hub, not only hosted the movement’s annual conferences, but was also home to the publishing offices of Der Stuermer, the notorious Nazi tabloid. The infamous Nuremberg Laws were declared in the city during the Nazi party congress of 1935. Nazis in Nuremberg were particularly zealous in their abuse of the city’s Jews, and many Jewish residents were randomly arrested. When Jewish pupils were expelled from German schools, the community responded by enlarging the Jewish elementary school; for this purpose, local Jews rented and renovated a large building at 25 Obere Kanalstrasse. (The school also offered professional training.) City authorities destroyed the main synagogue in August 1938, after which services were conducted in the school’s sports area. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), the Orthodox synagogue was burned down together with its contents. The Achiezer synagogue and its contents were also destroyed, as was the mikveh. Jewish businesses and homes were vandalized; merchandise and personal belongings were either looted or destroyed. So many Jews were assaulted by club-wielding rioters that the medical staff at the Jewish hospital in Fuerth, unable to provide beds for the wounded, treated patients on the floors and in the corridors of the hospital. Sixteen local Jews were murdered during Pogrom Night, and most of the 160 arrested Jews were sent to Dachau, where one died. Ten Nuremberg Jews committed suicide. After the pogrom, Orthodox services were conducted in one of the school’s classrooms. Later, at some point after 1941, the Gestapo ordered the Orthodox Jews to move their services to the school’s sports area, where the mainstream community prayed. The deportations of Nuremberg’s Jews began in November 1941, and continued until June 1943, when the community was dissolved. Sixty Jews, all of whom were married to Christians, remained in the city after the deportations, but 10 were deported to Theresienstadt in January 1945. At least 1,800 Nuremberg Jews perished in the Shoah. The new Jewish community of Nuremberg was founded in December 1945. Memorials to the Jewish community destroyed on Pogrom Night and to its members murdered in the Shoah have been unveiled in the city.
Photo: Shortly before Pogrom Night in November 1938, the Jewish community was forced to demolish the main synagogue in Nuremberg. Courtesy of: Unknown.
Photo 2: The Orthodox Adass Jsroel synagogue on Essenweinstrasse in Nuremberg, after Pogrom Night. Courtesy of: Yad Vashem Photo Archive, 216GO4.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut Sources: GDJN GJGN, PK-BAV
Located in: bavaria