General information: First Jewish presence: 1318; peak Jewish population: 158 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 55
Summary: The Jewish community of Hardheim was annihilated in the Black Death pogroms of 1348/1349. We do not know when Jews returned to Hardheim, but records do tell us that the town was home to a synagogue by the year 1679. In 1805, the community built another synagogue (with a schoolroom) in a three-story house; the school was closed in the 1870s. A cemetery was consecrated in 1876, and we also know that the community maintained a mikveh. In 1933, the 55 Jews of Hardheim maintained a chevra kadisha, a women’s society, a youth association and a charity fund. A teacher from Buchen instructed two children in religion. The community continued to offer cultural and social activities well into the Nazi period. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue interior and ritual objects were destroyed; Jewish homes and businesses were not harmed, but nine local Jews were arrested. The synagogue was sold to a private buyer in August 1939. Twenty-eight Jews emigrated, five relocated within Germany, five died in Hardheim and 17, the last, were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940, from where most were deported to the extermination camps. At least 37 Hardheim Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1969, a memorial plaque—originally unveiled in honor of a Hardheim Jew who fell in World War I—was restored. A memorial stone and a plaque for the Jewish community were unveiled in Hardheim in 2001/02.
Author / Sources: Magret Liat Wolf
Sources: AJ, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg