General information: First Jewish presence: 12th century; peak Jewish population: 469 in 1890; Jewish population in 1933: 186
Summary: Records indicate that Jews lived in Noerdlingen in the 12th century. This community resided in the Judengasse (“Jews’ alley”) and maintained three cemeteries and a synagogue. Local Jews were persecuted in several massacres during the Middle Ages and, in 1507, expelled from the town. Individual Jews lived in Noerdlingen during the 17th century, but it was only in 1860 that Jews were officially permitted to resettle in Noerdlingen. The modern community, established in 1870, peaked at 469 in 1890. Local Jews established a cemetery on Naehermemminger Weg in 1877; a mikveh in 1874; and a new synagogue, on Kreuzgasse, in 1886. The community owned two apartment buildings and employed a teacher who also served as chazzan and shochet. In 1933, 186 Jews lived in Noerdlingen. Several associations and branches of nation-wide Jewish organizations were active in the town. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s windows were smashed. The next day, November 10, 1938, the interior andritualobjectsweredestroyed;Torahscrollswereburned, and Jewish homes were looted. Approximately 30 Jewish men were taken to the town prison, from which nine were transported to Dachau. After the pogrom, the synagogue was sold to the municipality and converted into a silo. Twenty-nine Noerdlingen Jews died during the years 1933 to 1942, 71 emigrated, 45 relocated within Germany and 40 were deported to Theresienstadt and to Piaski in 1942. At least 100 Noerdlingen Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1955, the former synagogue was converted into a Lutheran community center, to which a memorial plaque was later affixed. The building was demolished in 1998. The cemetery, large parts of which were ravaged by Nazis, has been partially restored.
Photo: The synagogue of Noerdlingen with its two distinctive towers. Courtesy of: City Archive of Noerdlingen.
Photo 2: The synagogue of Noerdlingen at the beginning of the 20th century. Courtesy of: City Archive of Noerdlingen.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Located in: bavaria