General information: First Jewish presence: 1690; peak Jewish population: 198 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 63
Summary: The Jewish community of Biblis, founded in 1845, inaugurated a synagogue at 6 Enggasse in 1832. Among the community’s 19th-century rabbis was Salomon Bodenheimer (1813-1886), who, by founding a Jewish elementary school (1855) and other Orthodox institutions, turned Biblis into a regional Orthodox center. After the school closed down in 1900, the community employed a teacher of religion who also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. Although the Jews of Biblis maintained their own mikveh, they buried their dead in Alsbach. In 1933, a women’s association and a charitable society for brides were active in the community. A Reich Labor Service camp was opened in Biblis in 1934. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), the interior of the synagogue was destroyed; Biblis’ remaining eight Jewish homes were attacked repeatedly that night, and the burial wagon was set on fire. Sixteen Jews emigrated; the others relocated within Germany. By November 18, 1938, no Jews lived in Biblis. At least 30 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The German State Air Protection Corps used the synagogue during the war, after which the building accommodated a soup kitchen and, later, a carpenter’s workshop. The site—the building was torn down in 1981—now accommodates the new town hall building, to which a memorial plaque was affixed in 1982.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Located in: hesse