General information: First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 85 in 1861 (approximately 10% of the total population); Jewish population in 1932: 10 families
Summary: The Jewish community of Dornheim, founded by cattle dealers in the mid-18th century, inaugurated a synagogue at 27 Rheinstrasse - 60 seats for men, approximately 30 for women - in 1861 (renovated in 1911). The community belonged to the Orthodox rabbinate in Darmstadt II until the late 19th century, after which it belonged to the liberal rabbinate of Darmstadt I. Dornheim�s teacher of Jewish religion also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. Between 1895 and 1928, more than 50 Jews left for larger towns and cities. Those who remained made fairly good livings as cattle traders and small retailers. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), SA men from Starkenburg destroyed the interior of the synagogue and tried unsuccessfully to set it on fire; local residents tore off the roof and looted the building material. On November 10, rioters further damaged the building, so that one week later all that remained of the house of worship was the remnants of its walls. Twenty-one Dornheim Jews managed to flee to the United States and England; nine others were deported. Jewish men, initially imprisoned in the schoolroom, were later deported to Buchenwald. At least 30 Dornheim Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque was later unveiled at the former synagogue site, commemorating both the synagogue and the destroyed community.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL LJGy.
Located in: hesse