General information: First Jewish presence: 1680; peak Jewish population: 165 in 1835- 40; Jewish population in 1933: 29
Summary: The Jews of Jessnitz acquired properties for the establishment of a school and a synagogue in 1744 and 1796, respectively. In November 1865, the community inaugurated a new synagogue on Lange Strasse (present-day Martha-Brantszsch- Strasse). That same year, the cemetery on Strenggraben (present-day Schlossstrasse), which had been consecrated in 1680, was enlarged to include a purification house. The community also maintained two foundations for the sick and needy. Prominent local Jews included members of the Herz Family, whose textile business employed many. In 1933, the leader of the Jewish community was a Mr. Boschwitz. Six children received religious instruction that year. On Pogrom Night, SA and SS men in civilian clothing demolished Jewish properties and set fire to the synagogue. All Jewish residents were imprisoned in the police station, where they were held overnight; Fritz Hertz was sent to Buchenwald. The Nazis also ravaged the Jewish cemetery. The synagogue ruins were eventually cleared to make room for a new structure. The remaining Jews were forcibly moved into a “Jews’ house” after the pogrom. In November 1942, four Jewish women were deported to Theresienstadt; and in April of 1942 and March of 1943, seven were deported to the East. Hedwig Hammermann, who had been sent to Theresienstadt on August 6, 1940, survived her ordeal. At least 15 former residents of Jessnitz perished in the Shoah. The Jewish cemetery, now a protected monument, was restored after the war; the last burial took place there in 1982.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, FJG, LJG, YV zerstoerung_synagogen_1938.pdf
Located in: saxony-anhalt