General information: First Jewish presence: 15th century; peak Jewish population: 118 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 20
Summary: In Groetzingen, the seeds of a Jewish community were planted in 1677, after which, in 1699, local Jews established a prayer room in the Mittegasse. The synagogue—it contained 12 benches—was inaugurated on Oberen Gasse (renamed Synagogegasse, or “Synagogue Alley”) in 1799; renovations were carried out in 1814, 1841, 1874 and again in 1899, when a classroom was built. The community consecrated a cemetery in 1899. In 1933, 11 schoolchildren studied religion under the tutelage of an instructor from Obergrombach. A chevra kadisha and a women’s association were active in the town that year. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior and windows were destroyed. Its contents were thrown onto the street, and the porcelain inscription above the entrance was smashed. The chazzan saved a Torah scroll by giving it to a pastor for safekeeping; it was returned to the Jewish community in 1978. The synagogue was demolished in 1939. Four local Jews emigrated, three relocated within Germany, one died in Groetzingen and 12 were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least nine Groetzingen Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1983, a memorial was unveiled near the former synagogue site; two other memorials were unveiled in Groetzingen in 2007.
Author / Sources: Daniel Weiss
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg