General information: First Jewish presence: 1650; peak Jewish population: 403 in 1834 (approximately 50% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 75
Summary: Jews were permitted to settle in Altenstadt in 1650. The community peaked in 1834 with 403 members (about 50% of the population). In 1897, the Jews of Engeltal were affiliated with the Jewish community of Altenstadt. The community established a synagogue, at 8 Quergasse, in 1802; an elementary school in 1804; and a cemetery in the mid-19th century. After the school closed in 1924, a teacher from Assenheim instructed the community’s children in religion. In 1933, 75 Jews lived in Altenstadt. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue was completely destroyed. During the Nazi period, many gravestones from the cemetery were stolen or desecrated. Twenty Altenstadt Jews immigrated (15 to the United States), one died in Altenstadt and the others relocated within Germany. Altenstadt’s last Jew moved to Giessen in 1942. At least 15 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The cemetery was restored after the war, but several gravestones were placed on the wrong graves.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse