General information: First Jewish presence: 1331; peak Jewish population: 130 in 1844; Jewish population in 1933: 30
Summary: Records from 1331 mention the presence of Jews in Hildburghausen, but beyond the fact that Jews were expelled from the town in the 1400s, not much is known about the town’s early Jewish community. Jews returned to Hildburghausen in the early 1700s. The construction costs of the community’s first synagogue, inaugurated in 1811, were covered by Levi Simon, a prominent local Jew. In the mid-1820s, Simon financed a new and larger synagogue. In response to increasing anti-Semitism, the Jewish population began to dwindle in 1930. In 1933, Nazis forced the Jews to hand over the synagogue to a local branch of a large bank, after which prayer services were conducted in a small building located in the courtyard of a Jewish-owned metalwork factory; and it was this small synagogue that the Nazis vandalized on Pogrom Night. The synagogue building is now a warehouse. As of this writing, a memorial plaque has never been erected in Hildburghausen.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: DJKT, EJL, LJG, SIA
Located in: thuringia