General information: First Jewish presence: early 18th century; peak Jewish population: 75 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (26 in 1932)
Summary: In 1868, the Jewish community of Brotdorf joined the Merzig regional community. As a sub-community (Fillialgemeinde), Brotdorf kept its own institutions. Burials, however, were conducted in Merzig. Jews attended synagogue services in Merzig until the first half of the 19th century, when a prayer hall, located in a private residence, was opened in Brotdorf. Brotdorf Jews maintained a mikveh (unknown date of construction) and, beginning in 1854, a synagogue on 52-54 Hausbacher Strasse. During the 19th century, the community employed a teacher of religion who also served as chazzan and shochet. Jewish population figures for 1932 and 1935 were 26 and 31, respectively. After the Saarland was returned to the German Reich in March 1935, many Jews left Brotdorf. By 1938, the Jewish population was 12. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed, after which the building was set on fire; Jewish homes were wrecked that night. Later, in 1939, the municipality bought the synagogue site. Six Jews, Brotdorf’s last, were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 15 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue ruins—most of which were destroyed in a wartime bombing raid (1944)—were demolished after the war. A memorial stone, unveiled on the corner of Hausbach Strasse and Helenstrasse in 1984, commemorates the destroyed synagogue.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL
Located in: saarland