General information: First Jewish presence: 1633; peak Jewish population: 161 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 56
Summary: The Jewish community of Fuerfeld, with which the Jews of Frei-Laubersheim were affiliated, built its first synagogue in 1760. In 1895, a new synagogue was inaugurated at 13 Rathausstrasse (renovated in 1928). The Jews of Fuerfeld not only maintained a mikveh and a cemetery—the latter of which was consecrated in either the 17th or 18th century (enlarged in 1903)—but also employed a teacher of religion who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet; Moses Mayer held this post from 1891 until 1926. In 1933, the community ran a chevra kadisha, a women’s association and a society for the care of the sick. Fuerfeld’s Jewish teacher was sent for a while to the Osthofen concentration camp in 1933, and we also know that he left the community in 1937. On Pogrom Night, local Jews were forced to participate in the destruction of their synagogue. An agricultural cooperative appropriated the synagogue in 1939. Twenty-three Fuerfeld Jews emigrated during the Nazi period (16 went to the United States) while others relocated within Germany—the last, a woman, left in September 1940. Five Frei-Laubersheim Jews emigrated (three went to the United States) and six moved to other places within Germany. At least 26 Jews from Fuerfeld and six from Frei- Laubersheim perished in the Shoah. The Fuerfeld cemetery was desecrated while the Nazis were in power. Although a Catholic congregation bought the former synagogue in 1952, the building was demolished in 1959. A memorial plaque was later unveiled at the site, which now accommodates a residential building.
Photo: The synagogue of Fuerfeld, inaugurated in 1895 and devastated on Pogrom Night, November 9/10, 1938. Courtesy of: D. Schmitt, Fuerfeld.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF