General information: First Jewish presence: 1373; peak Jewish population: 41 in 1910 and 1933
Summary: Although Kulmbach’s medieval Jews maintained a mikveh and synagogue, it was not until 1903 that a Jewish community was officially founded there. During the 19th century, local Jews attended synagogue services in nearby Burgkunstadt. In 1903, a prayer hall was established in Kulmbach in an outbuilding of the Hotel Krone, on Langgasse. Burials were conducted in Burgkunstadt, and teachers from other Jewish communities instructed children in religion. The prayer hall had been closed down by the late summer of 1938, after which Karl Strauss, a local Jew, transferred the Torah scrolls to the Bamberg synagogue for safekeeping. On Pogrom Night, however, the remaining ritual objects in the Kulmbach prayer hall were confiscated. Jewish men were arrested and sent to the Regensburg railway station, where they were abused and humiliated before being sent to prison in Hof. The Torah scrolls in Bamberg were burned that same evening. Strauss was imprisoned in 1939; his fate is unknown. Fourteen Kulmbach Jews emigrated, 15 relocated within Germany, one died in Kulmbach and seven were moved to Bamberg in April 1942, and deported from there to Izbica. At least 12 Kulmbach Jews perished in the Shoah. After the war, approximately 100 survivors established a temporary Jewish community in Kulmbach. They left in 1948.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria