General information: First Jewish presence: 1478; peak Jewish population: 262 in 1837 (17.6% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 42
Summary: By 1529, the Jewish community of Schnaittach had its own rabbi and synagogue, which was rebuilt in 1570 and renovated thoroughly in 1858 and again in 1932. A regional Jewish cemetery opened in Schnaittach in 1537, and a yeshiva was active there during the 17th century. Schnaittach became part of Bavaria in 1806, after which the town’s rabbinate served the Jewish communities of the whole region until 1883. Two more cemeteries were consecrated in Schnaittach; one in 1834, the other in 1897. The community also maintained a Jewish school and a mikveh. In 1933, a teacher/chazzan instructed the Jewish children of Schnaittach and of the neighboring communities. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s contents were burned. The building itself, a designated museum, was spared, as were the Torah scrolls and ritual objects intended for exhibition there. Jews were arrested, Jewish homes were attacked, the teacher was seriously injured and several Jews were sent to Nuremberg prison, where one woman committed suicide. The synagogue museum opened in 1939. Fourteen Schnaittach Jews emigrated, 20 relocated within Germany and six died in Schnaittach. By the end of 1938, no Jews lived in Schnaittach. At least seven local Jews perished in the Shoah. A monument was later unveiled at the newer cemetery. The synagogue, renovated in 1985/86, was reopened as a branch of the Jewish Museum of Franconia.
Photo: View on the women’s section in the synagogue of Schnaittach in 1927. Courtesy of: The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, the Harburger Collection, P160/296.
Author / Sources: Dorothea Shefer-Vanson
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BAV
Located in: bavaria