General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: unknown; Jewish population in 1933: 30
Summary: During the second half of 17th century, Wieseck served as the religious center for Jewish villagers from the whole of the region of Hesse; every three years, these Landjuden (rural Jews) held meetings in Wieseck. In 1872 (possibly 1901), Wieseck’s Jewish congregation, which belonged to the liberal rabbinate in Oberhessen/ Giessen, established a 50-seat synagogue on Karl-Brenner Strasse. The community also maintained a Jewish school. Local Jews earned a living as shop owners, livestock traders, or butchers; Wieseck was also home to a Jewish doctor, a dentist, two lawyers and a bank clerk. During the 1920s, Jewish youths were actively involved the Zionist movement. In 1933, 30 Jews lived in Wieseck, soon after which 20 emigrated from Germany: 15 went to the United States, three to South America, one to England and one to Palestine. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), rioters looted the synagogue’s furniture and ritual objects. The synagogue’s new owner eventually rented out the building. In September 1942, Wieseck’s nine remaining Jews were deported to concentration camps in Eastern Europe; their names have been recorded by Yad Vashem. A memorial was later unveiled at the former synagogue site on Karl-Brenner Strasse.
Author / Sources: Swetlana Frank
Located in: hesse