General information: First Jewish presence: 1423; peak Jewish population: 58 in 1910; Jewish population in 1933: 21
Summary: The Jewish cemetery of Alsbach, consecrated in the early 17th century, would later become one of the largest in Hessen, serving 32 communities. In the late 18th century, the Jews of Alsbach founded a community, to which the Jews of Bickenbach, Haehnlein and Jugenheim an der Bergstrasse were affiliated. In 1778, the community replaced its prayer hall with a synagogue at 19 Hauptstrasse. In 1788, an adjacent building Interior of the synagogue of Alsbach. Courtesy of: Unknown. was converted into a community center with a classroom, a mikveh and an apartment for the teacher. A women’s association, two charitable societies and a branch of a Zionist organization were active in Alsbach in 1933. The synagogue’s interior and contents were destroyed on Pogrom Night; the cemetery was desecrated, and its tahara house blown up. Two Jewish homes, Alsbach’s last, were damaged and plundered, and Jewish men were sent to Buchenwald. Sold to a local resident for only 1,500 Reichsmarks, the synagogue was later used for storage. Alsbach was declared “free of Jews” in 1940. At least 11 Alsbach Jews, seven from Bickenbach, nine from Haehnlein and six from Jugenheim perished in the Shoah. The cemetery was restored after the war by order of a Jewish-American soldier whose forefathers were buried there. At the former synagogue’s site—the building was sold to a bank and converted into a combined residential and commercial complex—a memorial plaque was unveiled in 1991.
Photo: Interior of the synagogue of Alsbach. Courtesy of: Unknown.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse