Walldorf an der Werra

General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 562 in 1849 (approximately 33% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 32
Summary: Town records from 1349 mention a Jewish presence in Walldorf an der Werra, but it was not until the 16th (possibly 17th) century that Jews resettled there in larger numbers. In 1789, three local Jewish congregations merged to form the largest Jewish community of the region (the Duchy of Saxe Meiningen). The synagogue in Walldorf on Am Tanzberg, built in 1789-1790, was renovated in 1842, 1845 and again in 1851. A school was built on the same site in 1840, and we also know that the Jewish cemetery near Solzer Strasse was in use from 1737 until 1936. In 1933, Walldorf ’s 32 Jews employed a shochet and a teacher, the latter of whom also served as a chazzan; three Jewish schoolchildren received religious instruction that year. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue was vandalized, its furniture destroyed and the scrolls and prayer books were transferred to the mayor’s office. Windows in Jewish homes were smashed, Jewish women were assaulted and five men were deported to Buchenwald. The remaining Jews were deported during the years 1942 to 1944. At least 42 Walldorf Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue was torn down in 1949; in 1988 two commemorative plaques were unveiled at the site.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: AJ, DJKT, EJL, FJG, W-G
Located in: thuringia