General information: First Jewish presence: 1373; peak Jewish population: 91 in 1910; Jewish population in 1933: 50
Summary: The modern Jewish community of Kempten was founded in the 1870s, at which point it established a prayer room and a cemetery. In 1933, five Jewish children studied religion in Kempten. Riots did not break out in the town on Pogrom Night (November 9-10, 1938), but several Jews were arrested and placed in “protective” custody. On November 11, Jewishowned shops were closed down and the homes of Jewish residents were searched. Beginning in 1942, Kempten’s remaining Jews were housed in a building referred to as the Judenhaus (“Jews’ house). In February 1942, a Jewish man was arrested for criticizing the Nazi government; he was handed over to the Munich Gestapo, but his fate is unknown. Between 1933 and 1940, 14 Kempten Jews emigrated, 12 relocated within Germany and three died in Kempten. Ten were deported to Piaski (via Munich) in March 1942; another four were deported to Theresienstadt in August 1942; and three Kempten Jews, all of whom were married to Christians, were deported to Theresienstadt in February 1945. At least 30 Kempten Jews perished in the Shoah. The community’s prayer room (33, Residenzplatz), ritual objects and cemetery survived the pogrom. Two memorials were later erected at the cemetery to commemorate Kempten’s murdered Jews and the inmates of a nearby concentration camp.
Author / Sources: Magret Liat Wolf
Sources: AJ, GKJS, LJS, PK-BAV
Located in: bavaria