General information: First Jewish presence: 18th century; peak Jewish population: 65 in 1845; Jewish population in 1933: 9
Summary: At the beginning of the 1770s, several Jewish families obtained residency rights from the Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg. The Jews of Coswig attended services in the synagogue of neighboring Woerlitz until 1800, when they built a small, half-timbered house of worship on Domstrasse; the building was renovated approximately 100 years later. Beginning in 1832, the community belonged to the rabbinate of Anhalt- Bernburg. Always small (membership began to dwindle in the 1850s), the community was never able to hire a chazzan. Herman Cohen (1842-1918), the Jewish philosopher and one of the founders of the Marburg School of Neo- Kantianism, was born in Coswig. Local Jews established a cemetery (on Heidestrasse) and a cemetery hall in 1800 and 1843, respectively. The cemetery was leveled during the Nazi period, and many tombstones were stolen. As of this writing, 36 tombstones are still intact. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue, which had been in use until 1928, was severely damaged; it was finally demolished in 1939. At least three Coswig Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque has been unveiled at the former synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Beate Grosz-Wenker
Sources: AJ, EJL JL, YV
Located in: saxony-anhalt