General information: First Jewish presence: 16th century; peak Jewish population: 59 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 32
Summary: The earliest available record of a Jewish resident in Medebach is dated 1568. A Jewish community was established there in the late 17th century. Local Jews attended services in a prayer room at 15 Oesterstrasse until 1844, when the building was destroyed in a neighborhood fire. A synagogue was inaugurated on Oberstrasse in 1854/55 and renovated in 1927. Other communal institutions included a mikveh (located in a private residence) and a Jewish cemetery on Glindfelder Weg, the latter of which was consecrated in 1808. In 1933, anti-Jewish measures were enacted in Medebach; Jewish-owned shops were boycotted, and Jews were excluded from local associations. Later, in October 1938, the Jewish community was forced to sell its synagogue. On the evening of November 10, 1938 (Pogrom Night), Nazis destroyed the synagogue, but not before members of the SA had stolen its ritual objects; local Jews were attacked, their homes and goods damaged. On November 28, Jewish residents were asked to emigrate. By 1939, all Jews had left Medebach; many of them managed to leave the country. According to Yad Vashem, at least four Medebach Jews perished in the Shoah. A plaque and a memorial were unveiled in Medebach in 1988 and in 2008, respectively.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn