General information: First Jewish pres.: 18th century (Wallh.), early 19th century (Oberh.); peak Jewish pop.: 65 in 1801 (Wall.), 42 in 1845 (Oberh.); Jew. pop. 1933: 31
Summary: It was during the 1890s that the Jewish residents of these two villages founded a joint community, with which, during the 20th century, the Jews of nearby Herschberg and Saalstadt were affiliated. A Jewish prayer room was established in Wallhalben in the 18th century. Records from 1859 indicate that a synagogue, which served both communities, had been inaugurated on Am Felseneck (in Oberhausen) a few years previously; the building housed a mikveh and, on the lower floor, an apartment for a teacher—he also served as chazzan and shochet—and a school. The Jews of these two villages retained their cemeteries, each of which was consecrated in the late 19th century (in 1895 in the case of Oberhausen), even after the founding of the joint community. Before then, both communities had buried their dead in Herschberg. In 1933, three Jewish schoolchildren studied religion with a teacher from Zweibruecken. On Pogrom Night, SA men destroyed the interior of the Oberhausen synagogue. Later, in 1941, the synagogue was demolished to make way for a wider road. Sixteen Jews from the Oberhausen-Wallhalben community emigrated from Germany. In 1940, the remaining 12 were deported to the concentration camp in Gurs, France. At least eight Jews from Wallhalben perished in the Shoah; no definite numbers are available for Oberhausen due to the multiplicity of communities with that name. A house in Oberhausen, which had belonged to a Jewish family by the name of Katz, was restored after the war and used by the local council. A memorial plaque has been affixed to this building.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL