General information: First Jewish presence: 1630; peak Jewish population: 67 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 24
Summary: The Jewish community of Biebesheim, with which the Jews of Stockstadt were affiliated, established a prayer room in an agricultural building at some point between 1720 and 1730. In 1818, a synagogue—it housed a mikveh, schoolrooms and an apartment for the teacher—was built on Odenwaldgasse (present-day 12 Bahnhofstrasse); later, in 1867, a new synagogue was inaugurated on the same site. Although burials were conducted in Gross Gerau and Alsbach, the community was able to maintain a Jewish school whose teacher also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. In 1933, 24 Jews lived in Biebesheim and 10 in Stockstadt. Six schoolchildren received religious instruction that year. The synagogue was sold to non-Jews in May 1938, after which it was converted into a residence; the Torah scrolls and ritual objects, however, were transferred to London, where they were looked after by a member of the community. On Pogrom Night, rioters plundered Jewish homes and broke the former synagogue’s windows. Biebesheim’s few remaining Jews left after Pogrom Night. During the Nazi period, 21 Biebesheim Jews emigrated; the others relocated within Germany. At least seven Jews originally from Biebesheim and five from Stockstadt perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue building, sold yet again in 1963, has since then been used as a combined residential and commercial building. In 2000, a memorial was unveiled at the site of a destroyed Jewish home.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Located in: hesse