General information: First Jewish presence: 1598; peak Jewish presence: 119 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 60
Summary: Local Jews conducted services in a prayer hall in Eberstadt until 1847, when the community purchased a house and converted it into a synagogue. In 1915, a new synagogue—60 seats for men, 30 for women—was inaugurated on 13 Heidelberger Strasse; the building also housed a schoolroom. The community maintained an elementary school from the first half of the 19th century until 1924, after which a teacher who served as chazzan and shochet instructed Jewish schoolchildren in religion. Burials were conducted in Alsbach, but the community was able to maintain its own mikveh. By the late 1920s, services were conducted in the synagogue only on the High Holidays. The community was disbanded in 1937. The synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night. Troops of local Nazis, SA men and Hitler Youth vandalized Jewish homes, destroyed property and tortured Jews. One man died of his injuries in February 1939; an 81-year-old woman was killed for refusing to be detained by a local Nazi leader. Thirty-five Jews emigrated (30 went to the United States), 18 relocated within Germany, three were murdered in Eberstadt and four, the last, were deported to Theresienstadt in 1942. At least 27 Eberstadt Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial was later unveiled at the former synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Located in: hesse