General information: First Jewish presence: 1654; peak Jewish population: 323 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 144
Summary: This community established a prayer room in or around 1750, a synagogue in 1794, a new synagogue at Poststrasse in 1852 and a school in the 1830s, the last of which was presided over by a teacher who also served as the chazzan. Burials were conducted in the Schmieheim community’s cemetery, with which Kippenheim also shared a mikveh. Stef Wertheimer, the Israeli industrialist, was born in Kippenheim in 1926. Several Jewish associations were active in Kippenheim in 1933, and the teacher instructed 10 schoolchildren that year.The community continued to offer activities and lectures well into the Nazi period. On Pogrom Night, furniture and ritual objects from the synagogue were destroyed, as were its doors and windows. The building was set on fire, but residents extinguished the blaze out of fear for the safety of their own houses. Eleven Jewish men were sent to Dachau. Ninety-three Kippenheim Jews emigrated, seven died in Kippenheim, one committed suicide and 31, the last, were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 31 Kippenheim Jews perished in the Shoah. The Jewish Restitution Successor Organization sold the synagogue after the war. In 1981, the town of Kippenheim acquired the building and declared it a national cultural monument. It has been used as a memorial and social hall since 2003.
Photo: The vandalized synagogue of Kippenheim after Pogrom Night. Men are standing with axes on the rubble; children joined in too. Courtesy of: German-Israeli Society Photo Archive, Ettenheim.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, PK-BW, SIA
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg