Bad Schwalbach

General information: First Jewish presence: 1627; peak Jewish population: 190 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 94
Summary: A Jewish presence was recorded in Lengenschwalbach (renamed Bad Schwalbach in 1920) in 1627. In 1680, a community was founded there, with which the Jews of Hausen von der Hoehe, Schlangenbad, Baerstadt and Kemel were affiliated. The Jews of Bad Schwalbach established a prayer hall in 1683; a synagogue, at 2 Erbsengasse, in 1715; and a new mikveh in 1807. Bad Schwalbach was home to a district rabbinate between 1830 and 1851, and to a teachers’ seminary between 1848 and 1851. The synagogue was enlarged in 1743 and 1885, after which it seated 80 men and 40 women. We also know that Bad Schwalbach’s Jewish cemetery was enlarged in 1910, and that the community employed a teacher of religion who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. In 1933, 13 schoolchildren studied religion in Bad Schwalbach; a Jewish men’s and a women’s association were active in the community. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue and nearby community center were set on fire. The cemetery was desecrated, and windows were smashed and property destroyed in five Jewish businesses and adjacent homes. Seventeen Jews emigrated (15 to the United States); the others relocated within Germany. At least 64 Bad Schwalbach Jews perished in the Shoah. In 2009, the town laid out “stumbling stones” (Stolpersteine) in memory of its former Jewish citizens.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse