General information: First Jewish presence: 1654; peak Jewish population: 158 in 1829 and 1846; Jewish population in 1933: 26
Summary: Records of the Olnhausen Jewish community from 1726 mention a prayer room. The community established another prayer room in 1736/37, a synagogue at the corner of Lindenplatz and Rathausstrasse in 1772, a school in the 1830s and a schoolhouse and mikveh in 1842. In 1881, the Jews of Olnhausen replaced the dilapidated synagogue building with a new house of worship. The school, shut down in 1874 and opened once again in 1900, was presided over by a teacher who also served as shochet and chazzan. Records indicate that the community maintained a cemetery at Judenkirchhof (the “Jews’ grave yard”); after that burial ground was closed, burials were conducted in Berlichingen. In 1933, the 26 Jews of Olnhausen maintained a charity and a Verband der Sabbatfreunde association, the latter of which helped and encouraged Jews to observe the Sabbath. A teacher from Berlichingen instructed three schoolchildren in religion that year. The synagogue’s interior and contents were destroyed on Pogrom Night. Seven Jews emigrated, seven died in Olnhausen and 12, the last, were deported to Riga (in December 1941) and to Theresienstadt (in August 1942). At least 33 Olnhausen Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue site was cleared in 1972 to make room for a bank. A memorial plaque is all that remains of the Jewish community.
Photo: The synagogue of Olnhausen in 1932. At the side are the stairs leading to the entrance of the elevated women’s gallery. Courtesy of: Town Archive of Olnhausen.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg