General information: First Jewish presence: 1606; peak Jewish population: 2,893 in 1843; Jewish population in 1933: 39
Summary: The Jews of Braunsbach established a prayer room at the end of the 1600s, a synagogue in 1732 and a cemetery in 1738. Between 1832 and 1913, a district rabbinate housing a school and living quarters for the local rabbi was based at 8 Im Rabbinat. Rabbi Menko Berlinger and Dr. Jacob Berlinger, both of the famous Berlinger family, served as rabbis. The rabbinate moved to Schwaebisch-Hall in 1914, but the building continued to function intermittently as a school. In 1933, a poster campaign denouncing any Gentile who associated with Jews as a Judenfreund, or “Jew-friend,” was launched in Braunsbach. Later, on Pogrom Night, SA men from Schwaebisch-Hall wrecked the synagogue’s interior. Seventeen local Jews emigrated from Germany. The remaining Jews were deported to Riga, Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, where nearly all died. According to Yad Vashem, 35 Braunsbach Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue, mikveh and rabbinate have been preserved to some degree; in fact, Braunsbach is thought to be the only place in Germany where this happened. The synagogue’s ruins were integrated into a festival and sports complex called the Burgenlandhalle. In 1978, a Jewish man living in Switzerland donated a plaque to mark the synagogue’s location; the plaque was moved to the entrance of the Rosenstein hall (part of the Burgenlandhalle) in 1984. Esther Sarah Evans Sources: AJ, EJL, HU Der Foerderverein Rabbinatsgebaeude Braunsbach
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, HU
Der Foerderverein "Rabbinatsgebaeude", Braunsbach
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg