General information: First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 111 in 1814; Jewish population in 1933: 58
Summary: The Jewish community of Ermershausen, founded during the second half of the 18th century, established a cemetery in 1832. In 1850, the community built a synagogue. (The building also housed an apartment for the schoolteacher, a mikveh and a classroom.) David Kissinger (grandfather of Henry Kissinger) was Ermershausen’s Jewish schoolteacher during the 19th century. Jews’ relations with their Christian neighbors were good in Ermershausen, a fact that helps explain why only 10 Jews left the town before 1938. In 1934, however, the Jewish schoolteacher was arrested and imprisoned for several months on a blood libel charge invented by the Gestapo in Burgpreppach. On Pogrom Night, the interior of the synagogue was destroyed, as was furniture in Jewish homes. Jews were forced to burn the Torah scrolls in a field outside the village; most of the men were deported to Dachau. By 1941, 25 Ermershausen Jews had immigrated to the United States and 13 had relocated in Germany. In April 1942, 15 of the remaining 18 Jews were deported to Izbica (via Wuerzburg). That same year (in June), Ermershausen’s last three Jews were sent to the Jewish oldage home in Schweinfurt, from which they were deported to Theresienstadt in September 1942. The synagogue building survived the war and was later converted into a residence.
Author / Sources: Magret Liat Wolf
Sources: AJ, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria