General information: First Jewish presence: 1635/36; peak Jewish population: 35 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: unknown
Summary: The Jewish community of Ellar (present-day Waldbrunn) was founded in 1740. In 1843, the combined Jewish population of Ellar and its affiliated communities (Hausen, Lahr and Waldernbach) was 124. Beginning in the early 18th century, Joseph Liebmann’s house on Bornweg was used as a synagogue. The community maintained a mikveh, a cemetery on Am Oberholz/Lahrweg (1731-1937) and a Jewish school. In 1875, a teacher by the name of Schloss instructed children in religion. The synagogue was seldom used after 1885, when the Jews of nearby Frickhofen and Langendernbach began conducting their own services. The leaders of the community in 1932 were Theodor and Louis Liebmann. Sixteen Jews lived in Ellar in 1933, and two children studied religion that year (probably with a teacher from out of town). On Pogrom Night, as Jews hid in the village leader’s house, Nazis ravaged the synagogue, the cemetery and private Jewish properties. Thirteen Jews, Ellar’s last, fled after Pogrom Night, after which the synagogue—defunct since 1933—was torn down. At least 18 Jewish residents of Ellar perished in the Shoah. A large memorial plaque was later unveiled at the entrance to the Jewish cemetery.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL
Located in: hesse