General information: First Jewish presence: 1726; peak Jewish population: 90 in 1890 (12% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 22
Summary: Oberaltertheim’s first synagogue, built in 1727, burned down in 1825, after which, in 1827, the community established a new synagogue (it housed a classroom). The community maintained a mikveh and employed a teacher who also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. Local Jews buried their dead in Wenkheim. In 1933, two chevra kadisha organizations (one for men, the other for women) were active in Oberaltertheim. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior and Torah scrolls were destroyed. Windows in Jewish houses were smashed, property was wrecked and two Jews were deported to Buchenwald. The synagogue was later sold to the municipality for just over two-thirds of its actual value. Sixteen Oberaltertheim Jews emigrated and two relocated within Germany. In March 1939, Jews were forced to sell their agricultural lands at a greatly reduced price; and in September 1939, the remaining Jews were moved into one building (referred to as the “Jews’ house”). Oberaltertheim’s last four Jews were deported, via Wuerzburg, to Izbica in April 1942. At least 21 local Jews died in the Shoah. The synagogue—it served as a fire station between 1939 and 1990—was later demolished. A memorial plaque was unveiled there in 1987, but removed in 1989.
Author / Sources: Maren Cohen and Nurit Borut
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria