Ruedesheim am Rhein

General information: First Jewish presence: 1096; peak Jewish population: 109 in 1874; Jewish population in 1933: 33
Summary: Jews from Mainz, fleeing the ravages of the First Crusade, arrived in Ruedesheim in 1096; once there, however, they were murdered—some committed suicide—for refusing to convert to Christianity. A new Jewish presence was established in Ruedesheim towards the end of the 17th century, and the community grew as Jews were granted more civil rights. Inaugurated in 1842, the community’s synagogue—it seated 70 worshipers—also served Jews from the surrounding villages. By 1874, at which point the community recorded its peak membership figure, Jews were well integrated among the population of this provincial town. Community membership diminished after World War I, and by 1937 only three Jewish families still lived in Ruedesheim. On November 11, 1938 (two days after Pogrom Night) thugs from neighboring towns demolished the synagogue and the remaining Jewish-owned businesses and residences. The remaining Jews left Ruedesheim a few days later. A memorial plaque, unveiled opposite from the former synagogue site, commemorates Ruedesheim’s former Jewish community.
Author / Sources: Fred Gottlieb
Sources: EJL, LJG
Located in: hesse