General information: First Jewish presence: 18th century; peak Jewish population: 73 in 1860; Jewish population in 1933: unknown
Summary: Jews may have lived in Ochtendung in the Middle Ages, but it was not until the 18th century that records mention a Jewish presence there. The Jewish community conducted services in private residences until in or around the year 1860, when a short-lived prayer room was opened in Ochtendung; that building was demolished in 1872 as a result of safety concerns, after which, in 1882, a synagogue was inaugurated on Kastorstrasse. The community also maintained a mikveh, a cemetery and a school for religious studies. In 1925, 32 Jews lived in Ochtendung, most of whom left after the Nazis came to power in 1933. On Pogrom Night, SA men set the synagogue on fire. The fire brigade made no effort to save the synagogue, but did make sure to protect the neighboring buildings from the blaze. Ochtendung’s last Jewish family was deported in July 1942. At least 15 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue ruins were cleared in the early 1950s. In 1988, a memorial was unveiled opposite the former synagogue site; the Jewish cemetery also houses a memorial. In 2007, bronze memorial stumbling “stones” were laid close to where the village’s former Jewish residents lived.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ