General information: First Jewish presence: 1644; peak Jewish population: 291 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 39
Summary: The Jewish community of Gemmingen constituted 23% of the local population in 1864. In 1727, the community was given permission to build a prayer room in a Jewish residence. A synagogue was opened at Schwaigerner in 1821, but the building quickly deteriorated and was replaced, in 1887, by a new house of worship (built at the same location). Beginning in 1819, the community conducted burials in Eppingen. A Jewish elementary school, opened in the 1830s, was shut down in 1876 together with all confessional schools in Baden. Gemmingen also had a mikveh. In 1933, the 39 Jews who lived in Gemmingen maintained a charity association. The community was disbanded in July 1938, not long after which, on Pogrom Night (November of that year), rioters vandalized the synagogue’s interior, smashed its windows and doors, and threw out its furniture and ritual objects. The municipality later appropriated the building. Twelve Jews moved to Gemmingen during the Nazi period, and two Jewish children were born in the town. By way of contrast, 21 local Jews emigrated, 26 relocated inside Germany, nine died in Gemmingen, and five, the last, were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 49 Gemmingen Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was torn down in 1975/76.
Photo: The building in which the former synagogue of Gemmingen was located. Courtesy of: City Archive of Gemmingen.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, HU, IAJGS, PK-BW
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Located in: baden-wuerttemberg