General information: First Jewish presence: 1723; peak Jewish population: 377 in 1862; Jewish population in 1933: 50
Summary: Eighteenth-century Freudental rabbis also served other Jewish communities in the lower Wuerttemberg region. The Freudental community itself established a synagogue in 1738, a larger one in 1770, a school in 1816 (in its own building after 1862), two cemeteries (1723 and 1811) and a mikveh. A regional rabbinate was based in Freudental from 1832 until 1887. In 1933, six schoolchildren received religious instruction. Three Jewish associations, three charity funds and a branch of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith (CV) were active in the town. The Jewish school, closed in 1920, was reopened in 1935. On Pogrom Night, axe-wielding rioters destroyed the synagogue’s interior; Jews were forced to load ritual objects onto a wagon, after which the items were set on fire on the sports field. Thirty-five Jews emigrated (19 went to the United States), three relocated inside Germany, four died in Freudental and 13 in total were deported to the East in 1941 and 1942. At least 32 Freudental Jews perished during the Shoah. In 1981, the synagogue, about to be demolished, was bought by a group of local citizens and restored as a cultural center. Two memorial stones have been unveiled at the town hall.
Author / Sources: Maren Cohen and Rachel Borut
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg