General information: First Jewish presence: 18th century; peak Jewish population: 30 families in 1800; Jewish population in 1933: 19
Summary: Today, Kestrich is part of the city of Feldatal. Although as many as 30 Jewish families lived in Kestrich in 1800, only five of them (they traded in livestock and general goods) remained there by early 1930. Most emigrated soon after 1933, and by 1936 the community had been dissolved. In 1839, the community built a synagogue with a seating capacity of 60. Although the Jewish school (unknown date of construction) had been closed in 1900, the community continued to provide children with religious instruction; according to records, four children studied religion in 1923. We also know that Kestrich’s Jewish cemetery had been consecrated soon after the first Jews settled in the town. Even though the Jewish community was no longer functioning by then, its synagogue was demolished on Pogrom Night, and the remaining three Jews were deported to Theresienstadt in 1942. At least 10 Kestrich Jews perished in the Shoah. The destroyed synagogue building was later rebuilt and, in July 2005, opened to the public as a museum and memorial site. A memorial stone commemorates the prayer hall.
Author / Sources: Swetlana Frank
Located in: hesse