General information: First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 72 in 1848; Jewish population in 1933: eight families
Summary: Although we do not know when Jews first settled in Hochspeyer, records tell us that five Jewish families were registered there in 1782. The Jewish community’s elementary school and prayer hall—the latter was located inside a twostory building at 8 Bergstrasse—were established in 1824 and 1836, respectively. After the elementary school closed down, a Jewish teacher from a neighboring community instructed Jewish schoolchildren in religion. In 1927, Hochspeyer Jews were allotted a section of the local churchyard on Friedhofstrasse. Thirty-two Jews lived in Hochspeyer in 1932. In 1933, eight Jewish families were registered there. Later, on Pogrom Night (November, 1938), rioters vandalized the synagogue; the building’s interior furnishings and ritual objects were thrown onto the street and set on fire. During the Nazi period, 23 Hochspeyer Jews emigrated (17 went to the United States) and nine relocated within Germany. On October 22, 1940, the town’s last Jew was deported to the concentration camp in Gurs, France. At least two Jews originally from Hochspeyer perished in the Shoah. Sold in either 1939 or 1940, the former synagogue was demolished in 1966 (possibly 1970).
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn