General information: First Jewish presence: 1555; peak Jewish population: 108 in 1816 (20% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 54
Summary: The Jewish community of Gaukoenigshofen, founded in the 18th century, established the following institutions: a synagogue and mikveh in 1768/1769 (rebuilt in 1842 and renovated in 1929); a new mikveh in 1819; and a community center—it housed a classroom and living quarters for the teacher—in 1910. The Jews of Gaukoenigshofen buried their dead in Allerheim. Baron Jacob Hirsch, founder of the Hirsch family fortune and grandfather of the philanthropist Maurice Hirsch, was born in Gaukoenigshofen in 1765. In 1933, two chevra kadisha associations and two charitable organizations were active in Gaukoenigshofen. A teacher/chazzan instructed eight schoolchildren in religion. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was wrecked and its furniture and ritual objects were burned; the village head and former fire chief, however, prevented the synagogue itself being burned down. Jewish homes, businesses and the community house were vandalized and looted. Twelve Jewish men were arrested, beaten and taken to Aub, after which five were sent to Dachau. Twenty-two Gaukoenigshofen Jews emigrated and three relocated within Germany. Twenty-nine, the last, were deported to the East in 1942. At least 34 local Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1988, the restored synagogue was reopened as a monument. The mikveh and community house were also preserved.
Author / Sources: Dorothea Shefer-Vanson
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria