General information: First Jewish presence: 1510; peak Jewish population: 165 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 54
Summary: Although records tell us that a Jew was permitted to settle in Hockenheim in 1510, we know little about the Jews who lived there before the 19th century. A prayer room was in use by the early 19th century, and a synagogue, seating 30 men and 25 women, was built in 1833 on the corner of Ottostrasse and Rathausstrasse. Renovated in 1877, the synagogue housed a mikveh. The Jewish community maintained a primary school (1820-1843) and a cemetery (consecrated in 1879), and the teacher of religion—he was hired after the school closed down—served as the chazzan and shochet. In 1933, 54 Jews lived in Hockenheim; a teacher from Schwetzingen instructed the community’s schoolchildren. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s furniture and ritual objects were destroyed, after which the building was burned to the ground. Jewish men were sent to Dachau. Seventeen Jews emigrated, 25 relocated within Germany, two passed away, one committed suicide and six were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. A Jew who was married to a Christian woman was deported to Theresienstadt in February 1945. At least 13 Hockenheim Jews perished in the Shoah. A municipal building was built on the synagogue site. In 1979, a commemorative plaque was placed there.
Author / Sources: Yaakov Borut
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg