General information: First Jewish presence: 1707; peak Jewish population: 78 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (29 in 1932)
Summary: In 1847, Venningen’s Jewish community established a synagogue in a former inn at 5 Schafsgasse (formerly 15 Schafsgasse); the building, which was renovated in 1868, housed a schoolroom, a teacher’s apartment and a mikveh. A Jewish cemetery was consecrated on Kirrweiler Strasse in 1887, near the Christian cemetery. The Jews of Kirrweiler and Altdorf were affiliated with the Venningen community in 1894 and 1916, respectively. On Pogrom Night, the interior of Venningen’s synagogue was destroyed, after which all but one Jewish couple either emigrated from or relocated within Germany. On October 22, 1942, the town’s two remaining Jews were deported to the Gurs concentration camp in France. At least 13 Venningen Jews perished in the Shoah. Between 1942 and 1945, POWs were housed in the former synagogue. The building was returned to the regional Jewish community in 1950; in 1952, the community sold the property to a tailor who subsequently converted it into a residence. A memorial plaque was unveiled at the site in 1990.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, SG-RPS