General information: First Jewish presence: early 17th century; peak Jewish population: 96 in 1861 (10% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 33
Summary: By 1861, most Frankershausen Jews were traders, merchants, tailors, weavers and shoemakers; some were also involved in agriculture. Burials were conducted in a cemetery in Abterode, which had been consecrated in the 17th century. Between 1846 and 1922, Frankershausen’s Jewish school—it was presided over by a teacher who also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet—served as a religious and elementary school; after it closed down in 1922, Jewish children attended the public school, studying religion at home or with private teachers. We also know that the community maintained a mikveh, and that services were conducted in a private residence until 1855, when a synagogue was inaugurated on Lehmkaute (36 seats for men, 21 for women). Records mention several Jewish associations, among them a charitable organization. In 1933, 33 Jews still lived in Frankershausen. Subsequent disenfranchisement caused many of them to emigrate from or relocate within Germany. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue’s interior was destroyed and two Jewish homes were attacked and vandalized, the windows broken and the interiors demolished. An elderly Jewish man was assaulted. The former synagogue was pulled down in 1940, after which a residential building was erected on the site. As of this writing, a memorial has never been erected in Frankershausen. At least 42 Frankershausen Jews perished the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL
Located in: hesse