General information: First Jewish presence: 1680; peak Jewish population: 50 in 1848; Jewish population in 1933: unknown
Summary: The Jews of Hennweiler, Schneppenbach and Bruchscheid— Jews from Bruchscheid were affiliated with the Hennweiler community in 1895—are thought to have shared a prayer room in Hennweiler during the second half of the 18th century. The building burned down in a village fire in 1781; the community then established a new prayer room in the home of a Jewish couple. This prayer room was closed down for safety reasons in 1895, after which, despite funding difficulties, the community built a synagogue on Obergasse (inaugurated in 1896). Hennweiler’s first Jewish cemetery is thought to have been located between Hennweiler and Oberhausen, and may have been used by Jews from both villages. Another Jewish cemetery was consecrated in or around the year 1800. Although we do not know how many Jews lived in Hennweiler in 1933, records do tell us that the Jewish population in 1925 was 36. In 1938, headstones were overturned in the Jewish cemetery. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s front door, windows and seats were destroyed; Torah scrolls and ritual objects were burned. The synagogue was later sold to the municipal authorities and used by German soldiers as a shelter and for storing ammunition. The building was converted into a gymnasium after the troops left. Hennweiler’s last Jews left in July and August of 1939. At least 13 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue housed refugees after World War II. In 1951, the Jewish community of Bad Kreuznach granted the local authorities permission to keep the synagogue building, shortly after which the building was sold and demolished. Jewish burials were conducted at the cemetery in 1985 and in 1986.
Author / Sources: Bronagh Bowerman
Sources: AJ, FJG, SG-RPS