General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 212 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 68
Summary: The Jewish community of Forchheim, established in the mid-17th century, built its first synagogue, on Wiesenstrasse, in 1645; the synagogue was rebuilt in 1771 and, in 1808, replaced with yet another building. Until the 1930s, Forchheim’s four largest factories were owned by Jews. In 1933, the community maintained a school, a mikveh, a chevra kadisha, a women’s association and a charity group. Burials took place in Baiersdorf. The synagogue was blown up on Pogrom Night. Jewish homes and stores were ravaged, Jewish men were arrested andbeatenandTorahscrollswerestrewninnearbyfieldsand streams. Jewish men, and one boy, were forced to clear the synagogue rubble, after which they were deported to Dachau. A non-Jewish mill owner salvaged the Torah scrolls from a stream and gave them to a Jewish organization after the war. Twenty-four Forchheim Jews emigrated, 20 left for other German cities, 13 died in Forchheim and another 13 were deported to the East in 1941 and 1942. Forcheim’s last Jew, a woman, was deported to Theresienstadt in 1944. At least 53 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue site was later converted into a parking lot. A memorial pillar was erected there in 1982.
Photo: The ruins of the former synagogue of Forchheim. Courtesy of: J. Brunner.
Author / Sources: Dorothea Shefer-Vanson
Sources: AJ, MLB, PK-BAV
Located in: bavaria