General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 151 in 1861 (17.1% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 76
Summary: The Jewish community of Ober-Seemen, founded in the 18th century, established a new synagogue—one had apparently existed there in the 18th century—at 4-6 Mittelseemer Strasse in 1901. Ober-Seemen’s Jewish elementary school, established in 1875, was presided over by a teacher who served as chazzan and shochet; the school closed down in 1923, but Jewish schoolchildren continued to study religion with a teacher from Gedern. The Jews of Ober-Seemen also maintained a mikveh and a cemetery. In March 1936, windows and doors in Jewish homes were broken; two weeks later, six Jews were assaulted. The last synagogue service took place in 1937, after which the building was sold to the municipality for one-fifth of its actual value. The community was dissolved in early 1938, but that did not protect the Jews of Ober-Seemen on Pogrom Night: homes were searched, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed and two Jewish men, the last, were sent to Ortenberg, where they were brutally beaten before being deported to Buchenwald. Most of the younger Jews emigrated; the older ones, however, relocated within Germany. At least 43 Ober- Seemen Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue housed POWs during the war. The building, which fell into private ownership in 1978, was converted into an institute of psychotherapy and a conference center.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: AH, AJ, DJGH, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse