General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 146 in 1840; Jewish population in 1933: 14
Summary: Records indicate that Ellrich’s modern Jewish community emerged in 1701. During the 18th century and the first half of the 19th, the arrival of Jews from nearby Nordhausen triggered an increase in the Jewish population. The community, most of whose members were small shopkeepers, acquired a cemetery in 1785; earlier, in 1730 it had already built a synagogue on the Judengasse (“Jews’ Alley”) with space for 50 men and 30 women. (The street still exists under the same name.) After World War I, the Jewish population began to dwindle, so that by 1938 only two Jewish families and three unmarried Jews remained in Ellrich. The synagogue, used only sporadically during the years leading up to November 1938, was incinerated on Pogrom Night. The few remaining Jews were arrested and taken to Nordhausen. In 1988, a plaque was erected on the Judengasse commemorating “The Jewish Community: 1591-1938.”
Photo: The synagogue of Ellrich. Courtesy of: The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Art. No. GA88.
Author / Sources: Harold Slutzkin
Sources: LJG, SIA
Located in: thuringia