General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 222 in 1842; Jewish population in 1933: 60
Summary: The first Jews of Eppingen were massacred during the Black Death pogroms of 1348/1349. It was only during the 18th century that the town’s Jewish population grew considerably. In 1749, in response to provocations by non-Jewish neighbors, the community moved its prayer room on Metzgersgasse to a private residence. Later, in 1772, a synagogue—it housed a mikveh—was inaugurated on Kuefergasse. A Jewish cemetery was consecrated in Eppingen in 1818/1819, and we also know that the community inaugurated a new synagogue on Kaiserstrasse in 1873. By 1825, Eppingen was home to one of the first Jewish primary schools in Baden. In 1933, 60 Jews lived in Eppingen; seven children studied religion under the guidance of a teacher/chazzan. Jewish charity and women’s associations were active in Eppingen that year. Although the synagogue was later sold, in October 1938, it was nevertheless burned down on Pogrom Night, November 1938, and local Jewish men were sent to Dachau. Twenty Eppingen Jews emigrated, 33 relocated within Germany, one died in Eppingen and four were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 51 Eppingen Jews perished in the Shoah. Restored in 1964, the cemetery was desecrated in 1982. The synagogue ruins were cleared, and the site now accommodates a new building; a plaque was unveiled there in 1980.
Photo: The synagogue of Eppingen in 1893. Courtesy of: Town Archive of Eppingen.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AJ, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg