General information: First Jewish presence: 1222; peak Jewish population: 221 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 92
Summary: The modern Jewish community of Wertheim provided the location for a district rabbinate during the years 1827 to 1886. Wertheim’s last synagogue, built on the Judengasse (“Jews’ alley”) in 1799, was renovated several times. A mikveh was located nearby, and the community employed a teacher of religion who also functioned as a chazzan and shochet. Gumpert Thalmann, head of Baden’s Jewish Teachers’ Organization, was the Wertheim community’s teacher for 40 years (from 1886 until 1926). Wertheim’s Jewish cemetery, consecrated on Schlossberg in 1406, was the oldest Jewish cemetery in the region of Baden-Wuerttemberg. In 1933, ten Jewish schoolchildren studied religion in Wertheim. Several Jewish associations were active there. The municipality appropriated the synagogue and its contents in September 1938. Nevertheless, the synagogue’s interior was demolished on Pogrom Night, as were Jewishowned stores. That night, three Jews were sent to Dachau or to Buchenwald. Thirty-two local Jews emigrated, 38 moved elsewhere, four died in the town, 19 were deported to Gurs (on October 22, 1940) and two were deported to Izbica in 1942. Later, in February 1945, a Jewish woman who was married to a Christian was deported to Theresienstadt. At least 35 Wertheim Jews died in the Shoah. The former synagogue building was demolished in 1961. A plaque and a memorial were unveiled at the site in 1976 and 2004, respectively; another plaque has been unveiled at the Jewish cemetery.
Photo: The synagogue of Wertheim. Courtesy of: Unknown.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU, PK BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg