General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 100 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 73
Summary: The history of Jewish Bautzen dates back to the 1360s or 1370s. Jews were expelled from Bautzen several times during the following centuries, and the records also tell us that Bautzen Jews were accused of “debased coinage” in the 16th century. The Jewish community, founded towards the end of the 19th century (together with Jews from neighboring Bischofswerda and Kamenz) conducted services in private prayer rooms until a permanent prayer room was established on Topferstrasse. Around the year 1900, a Jewish cemetery was consecrated on Muskauerstrasse, near Gesundbrunnen. Most local Jews were well-respected merchants and craftsmen. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), Jews were forced out of their homes, chased through town and assaulted. Their homes were vandalized, and the prayer room was destroyed. Most Jews left Bautzen for Dresden, from where many men were sent to Buchenwald. Thirteen Jews were able to emigrate; the rest were deported in 1941/2. Only one survived. In 1949, the Bautzen district court sentenced some of the perpetrators of the November pogrom to long-term imprisonment. One year later, in 1950, a memorial plaque for the prisoners of a satellite camp of Gross-Rosen was unveiled in Bautzen. A mass grave with 202 bodies was discovered near the cemetery.
Photo: Jewish men from Bautzen are forced to hold signs bearing anti-Semitic messages on November 10, 1938. Courtesy of: City Museum of Bautzen.
Author / Sources: Beate Grosz-Wenker; Sources: AJ, EJL, LJG; www.juden-in-mittelsachsen.de
Located in: saxony