General information: First Jewish presence: 1660 or 1670; peak Jewish population: 248 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: 162
Summary: According to records, the Jewish community of Loerrach established the following institutions: a cemetery in 1670; a mikveh at some point during the 17th century; a prayer hall, located in a private residence, in 1797; a synagogue at Teichstrasse in 1808 (renovated in 1899); a community center in 1819; and, finally, a new cemetery in 1891. Several Jewish associations were active in Loerrach in 1933, and the community continued to offer cultural and social activities well into the Nazi period. The Jews of Schopfheim and Grenzach were affiliated with the Loerrach community. On Pogrom Night, a member of the Gestapo warned the community of the imminent assault; accordingly, the Torah scrolls were hidden. The synagogue, however, was demolished, and Jewish men were sent to Dachau. Approximately two-thirds of the community had left by 1940. On October 22, 1940, 50 Jews were deported to Gurs; two women were deported to Izbica in April 1942. One local Jewish woman—she was married to a Christian— survived the war in Loerrach. At least 77 Loerrach Jews perished during the Shoah. In 1976, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the synagogue site. The old cemetery was restored, and a memorial plaque was unveiled there, too. The new Jewish community of Loerrach, founded in 1995, uses the enlarged cemetery.
Photo: A boy reading from a Torah scroll in the synagogue of Loerrach. Courtesy of: US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 59414.
Photo 2: The synagogue of Loerrach after it was destroyed. Courtesy of: Leo Baeck Institute Photo Archive, 19219.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg