General information: First Jewish presence: 1291; peak Jewish population: 125 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 88
Summary: Jews were expelled from Ladenburg in 1391, and it was not until the 17th century that a new Jewish community was established there. Ladenburg was the seat of a district rabbinate from 1827 until 1875. Prayer services were initially conducted in rented halls. By the beginning of the 19th century, local Jews had established a synagogue; in 1832, a new house of worship—it housed a mikveh, a school and an apartment for a teacher who also served as shochet and chazzan—was inaugurated. The community consecrated a cemetery in 1848. In 1933, 18 schoolchildren received religious instruction. A group called the United Israelite District Foundations (Vereinigte Israelitische Ortsstiftungen) brought together numerous local Jewish associations; and branches of Zionist and Orthodox associations were active in the community. On Pogrom Night, the teacher’s home and the synagogue were vandalized; the synagogue’s roof was damaged, its windows were smashed and ritual objects were destroyed. Jewish homes were damaged that night, and Jewish men were sent to Dachau. Forty-four Jews moved to Ladenburg after 1933. Fiftyfour local Jews relocated within Germany, nine died in Ladenburg and 27 were deported to Gurs in October 1940. At least 53 Ladenburg Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue ruins were demolished in 1967; in 1976, a plaque was erected there. The cemetery houses a memorial stone.
Photo: The synagogue of Ladenburg before its reconstruction in the 1960s. Courtesy of: Town Archive of Ladenburg.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU, PK BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg