General information: First Jewish presence: 1343; peak Jewish population: 126 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 55
Summary: The Jewish community of Huenfeld conducted services in prayer rooms until 1868, when a synagogue, school and teacher’s apartment were established in the town. It was in 1868, too, that the community hired a teacher of religious studies, prior to which children had studied religion in Burghaun. The synagogue burned down in a neighborhood fire of 1886, and another fire in 1888 delayed the construction of a new house of worship. Inaugurated on an unspecified date, the new synagogue was located at 7 Bahnhofstrasse. Huenfeld was home to a Jewish elementary school from 1888/89 until 1924, after which the teacher—he also served as chazzan and shochet—continued to instruct children in religion. Burials were conducted in Burghaun. In 1933, nine schoolchildren received religious instruction and two Jewish associations (one for men, the other for women) were active in the community. There were many acts of violence against Jews and Jewish-owned property in 1935; in April of that year, 20 local Jews were arrested. On Pogrom Night (November 9, 1938), rioters broke windows in the synagogue and in a neighboring Jewish house; in the early hours of November 10, the synagogue was set on fire. Five Jewish men were arrested on Pogrom Night, of whom three were sent to Buchenwald, where one died in December 1938. Several Jews moved to Huenfeld after 1933, 25 emigrated and 33 relocated within Germany. In 1941, eight Jews were arrested and sent to an unknown destination; in May 1942, two were deported to Majdanek; and in September 1942, the remaining 11 Jews were deported to Theresienstadt. At least 30 Huenfeld Jews perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue site was eventually converted into a parking lot. In 1985, a memorial plaque was unveiled at town hall.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK HNF
Located in: hesse