General information: First Jewish presence: 1560; peak Jewish population: 31 in 1851; Jewish population in 1933: 18
Summary: Although the Jews of Werlau founded a community in the early 1800s, they were initially not permitted by the authorities to establish a synagogue. In 1830, however, the Orthodox Jewish community of Werlau and the liberalleaning community of neighboring St. Goar beseeched the local government for permission to build a house of worship. Permission was granted, but only for one synagogue, which the two communities inaugurated in a small house in Werlau. This synagogue was used until 1888, when the Orthodox Jews of Werlau broke away from the congregation and established their own synagogue. The original house of worship, used by the liberal congregation, ceased functioning shortly after the split, but the Orthodox synagogue was used until 1930. On Pogrom Night, SA men ransacked the small Orthodox synagogue and smashed its windows; located as it was inside an apartment building, the house of worship was not set on fire. We also know that the rioters smashed windows in Jewish homes that night. A memorial plaque was unveiled in Werlau in 1992.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: AJ, SG-RPS