General information: First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 81 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 15
Summary: The Jews of Freudenberg were killed in the Rindfleisch massacre of 1298. A Jewish presence was reestablished in the town in 1442. A synagogue, built in the late 1850s, was destroyed in a fire in 1891, after which the community built a new synagogue with 29 seats for men, a women’s gallery, a mikveh and a teacher’s apartment. After the last teacher left in 1895, a teacher from Miltenberg was hired to instruct Freudenberg’s Jewish children in religion. By 1908—by which point it had become impossible to gather 10 men for a minyan—the town’s remaining Jews were praying in Wertheim. The synagogue’s interior was destroyed on Pogrom Night, andtheruinsandTorahscrollsweretakentothetowndump. One scroll was saved by a German who hid it in the attic of the town hall. Unusually, not a single Jew left Freudenberg before 1939. That year, several Jews relocated to other German towns and cities. In 1940, two Jewish children were sent to Esslingen, and from there to France, where they survived the Shoah. Three Jews died in Freudenberg, and eight, the last, were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 22 Freudenberg Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue was later converted into a residential building. Rediscovered in 1978, the hidden Torah scroll was sent to Israel, where it is used in the synagogue of Kedumim.
Author / Sources: Yaakov Borut
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg