General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish presence: 211 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 36
Summary: In 1298, local Jews were murdered in the Rindfleisch persecutions; later, in 1348/49, all Kuelsheim Jews were massacred in the Black Death pogroms. Several Jews lived in Kuelsheim during the ensuing centuries, but a community was not founded there until the 1700s. The Jews of Kuelsheim established a cemetery in 1600, a synagogue in 1770 and a school on an unspecified date which was closed in 1876, as were all confessional schools in Baden. In Kuelsheim, the Jewish teacher also served the community as chazzan and shochet; after 1929, however, religious instruction was provided by a teacher from Wertheim. In 1933, only two schoolchildren studied religion in Kuelsheim. On Pogrom Night, the remaining ritual objects and a Torah scroll were taken to Tauberbischofsheim and set on fire. Jewish homes were looted, and three men were sent to Dachau, where one died. In 1941, the synagogue was sold to a local resident; later, in 1944, the building was destroyed in a fire that broke out during renovations. Six Kuelsheim Jews emigrated, 10 relocated within Germany, six died in Kuelsheim and 13 were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 40 Kuelsheim Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque was later unveiled at the cemetery.
Author / Sources: Yaakov Borut
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg