General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 440 in 1837 (13.4% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 66
Summary: The earliest record of Oettingen’s Jewish community refers to the pogroms of 1298 and 1348/49. A Jewish presence was once again established in the town in the mid-16th century. Several leading rabbis lived in Oettingen, which was divided between Lutheran and Catholic rulers. Accordingly, there were two Jewish communities, two synagogues and two regional rabbinates until 1731, when the communities were united. Local Jews established a cemetery in 1850 and a new synagogue, on Schaefflergasse, in 1853. Oettingen’s Jewish elementary school closed down in 1928. The arrival of a Jewish family from Moenchsroth (with official permission) sparked a large demonstration in November 1937. The father of the family was assaulted, after which he was hospitalized and, later, placed in “protective” custody. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed, as were its ritual objects and 13 Torah scrolls. The community’s archive and library were destroyed, Jewish homes and stores were wrecked and Jewish men were deported to Dachau. Ten Oettingen Jews emigrated, 45 relocated within Germany and six died in Oettingen. In 1942, six were deported to Piaski (via Munich). The town’s last two Jews were moved to Hainsfarth in April 1942; their fate remains unknown. At least 31 Oettingen Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial stone was affixed to the synagogue building in 2005.
Author / Sources: Magret Liat Wolf
Located in: bavaria