Bad Koenig

General information: First Jewish presence: early 18th century; peak Jewish population: 100 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 72
Summary: Jews lived in Koenig (renamed Bad Koenig in the early 19th century) from the early 1700s onwards. The Jewish community, founded in the late 18th century, established a synagogue on the corner of 11 Alexanderstrasse/Bleichstrasse in 1795/97 (renovated in 1897). Schoolchildren studied religion under the guidance of a teacher who also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. The community buried its dead in Michelstadt until a cemetery was opened in Bad Koenig in 1925/26. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed, its ritual objects desecrated; businesses and homes were wrecked and plundered. Jewish men were detained in the cellar of the council building, beaten—a 96-year-old man died of his wounds—and then taken out for a mock execution, after which five men were sent to Buchenwald. The cemetery was desecrated that night. Later, in 1939, the synagogue building was demolished. Twenty-eight Jews emigrated (16 to the United States), 45 relocated within Germany and five died in Bad Koenig. The last Jews left in March 1939. At least 27 Bad Koenig Jews perished in the Shoah. A building was later erected on the former synagogue site; a memorial stone was unveiled nearby in 1986.
Photo: The synagogue of Bad Koenig. Courtesy of: Yad Vashem Photo Archive, 217EO1.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse