General information: First Jewish presence: in or around the year 1648; peak Jewish population: 232 in 1861 (13.6% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933; 77
Summary: The Jewish community of Rimbach, founded in or around the year 1774, established its first synagogue in approximately 1774; a new synagogue (with 120 seats for men and 84 for women) on the corner of Schlossstrasse and Heinzenwiesenweg in 1840; a mikveh in 1826; an elementary school at some point before 1821; and a cemetery in 1849. After the school closed, the community employed a teacher of religion who also served as chazzan and shochet. In 1933, nine schoolchildren studied religion in Rimbach under the supervision of a teacher from Viernheim. Several local Jews were sent to the Osthofen concentration camp that year. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed; Jewish homes and businesses were attacked that night, and Jews were assaulted. The remaining Jews were later forced to sell the synagogue for far less than its actual value, after which it was converted into a storeroom for firefighting equipment. The community was disbanded in 1939. In August 1941, all remaining Jews were moved into two “Jews’ houses.” Forty Jews emigrated, 21 relocated within Germany, 11 passed away and one committed suicide. In 1942, four Jews were deported to Poland and five to Theresienstadt. At least 55 Rimbach Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1952/53, the synagogue was converted into a Catholic church, to which a memorial plaque was later affixed. Another plaque was unveiled at the cemetery.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: hesse