General information: First Jewish presence: early 14th century; peak Jewish population: 169 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 159
Summary: Dieburg’s modern Jewish community conducted services in prayer rooms until 1849, when a synagogue was inaugurated. Local Jews opened another synagogue (at the marketplace) in 1869, but that house of worship was closed down in 1928 as a result of structural safety concerns; one year later, in 1929, the community consecrated a new synagogue on the same site. We also know that Dieburg’s Jewish cemetery, established before 1530, became a regional cemetery in 1815. In 1937, by which point the community could no longer pay debts accumulated during the construction of the synagogue, the town appropriated the building. The synagogue interior was nevertheless destroyed on Pogrom Night; Jewish homes and businesses were ransacked that night, and 10 men were sent to Buchenwald. Ninety-four local Jews emigrated, 42 relocated within Germany, seven passed away and one committed suicide. In 1941, Dieburg’s last Jews were moved into one house, from which 16 were deported to Auschwitz and Theresienstadt between September 1942 and March 1943. At least 50 Dieburg Jews perished in the Shoah. Displaced Persons (DPs) established a new Jewish community in Dieburg in 1945; and in 1947, they reinaugurated the synagogue. The community, however, dispersed in 1948, after which the synagogue building was used for various purposes until its demolition in 1965. A bank, to which a memorial plaque was affixed in 1988, now stands on the site. Memorial stones have been unveiled at the restored cemetery and at a local park.
Photo: Inauguration ceremony in front of the newly built synagogue of Dieburg in 1929. Courtesy of: Town Archive of Dieburg.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse