General information: First Jewish presence: 1452; peak Jewish population: 135 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 33
Summary: The Jewish community of Friesenheim dates back to the 17th century. Prayers were initially conducted in a private residence, but in the 1820s a proper synagogue was established in the town. Local Jews conducted burials at the Schmieheim cemetery, and we also know that the community maintained a mikveh. By the 1920s, because it had become difficult to find the 10 men necessary for a minyan, services were sometimes conducted together with the Diersburg community. In 1933, the 33 Jews of Friesenheim maintained a chevra kadisha and a bikur cholim (a society for visiting the sick). The synagogue building was not damaged on Pogrom Night, butitsTorahscrollsandritualobjectsweredestroyed;several Jews were sent to Dachau. Thirteen Friesenheim Jews emigrated, five relocated within Germany and three died in Friesenheim. On October 22, 1940, nine local Jews were deported to Gurs. One Jewish couple remained in the town after the deportation: the husband committed suicide in April 1942, and his wife was deported to Izbica. At least 22 Friesenheim Jews perished during the Shoah. The synagogue, bought in 1940 for a fraction of its actual cost by the municipality, was sold in 1944. The building was demolished in 1990. In 1995, the road leading to it was renamed Synagogengasse (“Synagogue Alley”); a plaque has been unveiled at the site.
Author / Sources: Maren Cohen
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg