General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 97 in 1898; Jewish population in 1932/33: approximately 64
Summary: Although we do not know when, exactly, Jews first settled in Themar, records do tell us that they were persecuted there in 1298. Between 1865 and 1877, local Jews conducted services in prayer rooms. The modern Jewish community of Themar was established in 1877, the same year in which a synagogue was dedicated at 205 Oberstadt (presentday 17 Ernst Thaelmann Strasse). In 1894, a school and a teacher’s apartment were built on the synagogue’s first floor. We also know that local Jews conducted burials in Marisfeld. In 1933, at least 64 Jews lived in Themar. A shochet served the community, and seven Jewish schoolchildren received religious instruction. A funeral fund, which helped families finance burials, was active in the community that year. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue’s interior was vandalized; 18 men were arrested and deported to Buchenwald (where one died). The synagogue was eventually sold. By 1939, 21 local Jews had emigrated from Germany. Of those deported in 1942, at least twenty perished in the Shoah. Themar’s last Jew was arrested in 1943. The synagogue building was used as a school after 1945, and as an apartment building after 1950. One Themar Jew survived the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Heidi Wawrzyn
Sources: DJKT EJL, FJG, YV
Located in: thuringia