General information: First Jewish presence: 1567; peak Jewish population: 129 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: unknown
Summary: Records suggest that a synagogue existed in Eiterfeld before 1827, and that it was abandoned because of its dilapidated state. Between 1827 and 1830, the Eiterfeld Jewish community built a new synagogue with 52 seats for men and 24 for women. Eiterfeld was home to a Jewish school, presided over by teachers who also performed the duties of cantors and ritual slaughterers, from 1861 until 1933. The community, which was affiliated with the Jewish community in Buchenau, used the cemeteries in Burghaun or Erdmannrode. Eleven children studied religion in Eiterfeld in 1924. In 1932, 40 Jews, led by Max Lomnitz, lived in Eiterfeld. When a Jewish public school was opened in Burghaun in 1937—at which point only two Jewish families lived in Eiterfeld— the few Jewish schoolchildren left in Eiterfeld attended classes there. The synagogue was destroyed on Pogrom Night. In 1942, Buchenau’s five remaining Jews were deported to Theresienstadt, where two died; the other three perished in Auschwitz, Minsk and Buchenwald. Approximately 33 Jewish residents of Eiterfeld and 18 of Buchenau perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque was unveiled in Eiterfeld in 2005. In 2008, three local youths removed the plaque and threw it away; they were caught, and the plaque was reaffixed.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, LJG
Located in: hesse