General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 118 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 50
Summary: Jews were expelled from the region in which Woerrstadt is located in 1576, and it was not until the second half of the 18th century that a new Jewish presence was established in the town. This Jewish community opened a prayer hall, located in a private residence, in 1802; in 1833, however, one year after the owner of the private residence decided to use the building for other purposes, the community purchased an apartment building on Pfarrstrasse and converted it into a synagogue. The new synagogue, inaugurated in 1835, housed a mikveh and an apartment for a teacher—the community began to employ teachers in 1825—who also served as chazzan. In 1933, a branch of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith was active in the community. Consecrated in 1873, the Jewish cemetery was desecrated in May 1938. Later that year, one day before Pogrom Night (November 9-10, 1938), a mob broke into and destroyed Jewish-owned homes and businesses; one Jewish man was tortured. The following day, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed and set on fire, but the fire brigade and neighboring residents extinguished the blaze. In 1940, the former house of worship was sold to the municipality and converted into an apartment building. Twenty-one Woerrstadt Jews emigrated and 23 relocated within Germany. The town’s last Jew left in May 1939. At least eight Woerrstadt Jews perished in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn