General information: First Jewish pres.: 18th century (perhaps earlier); peak Jewish pop.: 161 in 1824; Jewish pop. in 1933: 16 (14 in Stipshausen)
Summary: Hottenbach’s synagogue, located at 45, Ringstrasse, was built in or around 1796; the synagogue was thoroughly renovated in the mid-19th century. It was during the 19th century, too, that the community established a Jewish elementary school which, by 1862, had given way to a school for religious studies. Local Jews also maintained a mikveh and two cemeteries, the latter of which was consecrated in Stipshausen (an affiliated community) in the second half of the 19th century. The community was dissolved in 1932, for the Jewish population had dwindled considerably between the years 1913 and 1927—so much so, in fact, that it had become difficult to gather a minyan. The remaining Jews were affiliated with the community in Rhaunen. Six Jews lived in Hottenbach in 1938. On Pogrom Night, local SA men destroyed the interior of the synagogue, smashed tablets bearing the Ten Commandments and damaged Torah scrolls and prayer books. During World War II, the synagogue building was used to house soldiers and prisoners of war. Hottenbach’s last Jewish family left the village in March 1940. At least 19 Hottenbach Jews and three Jews from Stipshausen perished in the Shoah. After the war, ownership of the former synagogue changed several times. Sold in 1981, the building was converted into a residential property.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, FJG