General information: First Jewish presence: 1272; peak Jewish population: 96 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 21
Summary: Jews disappeared from Assenheim in the mid-14th century, probably as a result of the Black Death pogroms (1348/49). A new Jewish presence, however, was established there shortly afterwards. Records from 1695 and 1704 mention a cemetery and a “new synagogue,” respectively. The community established a new cemetery in or around 1800 and a new synagogue, at 4 Brunnengasse, in 1862. Assenheim’s teacher of religion—he also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet—instructed Jewish children in Assenheim and nearby Bruchenbruecken. Twenty-one Jews lived in Assenheim 1933. By then, the 15 Jews of Bruchenbruecken and nine of Boenstadt had been affiliated with the community. Although synagogue services were discontinued in 1936, the building was nevertheless damaged on Pogrom Night. A Jewish home was attacked, and an elderly Jew lost an eye after being struck in the face with an axe. Most Jews left Assenheim; in 1940, some managed to immigrate to Santo Domingo. Of the five Jews who still lived in Assenheim in 1942, four were deported to Poland in September of that year; the fifth, married to a Christian, remained in the town. At least nine local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was used by the fire department until 1980; restoration work began in 1988, and in 1990 the synagogue was reopened as a cultural center.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: AH, AJ, PK-HNF www.hlz.hessen.de
Located in: hesse