General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 119 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 60
Summary: Jews were permitted to settle permanently in Kuenzelsau in 1853. They were initially affiliated with the nearby Nagelsberg community, but in 1907, as a result of Nagelsberg’s dwindling population, Kuenzelsau became the central Jewish community in the area. In 1907, the community inaugurated a synagogue with a mikveh, a school and room for 200 worshipers. Burials were conducted in Berlichingen, and we also know that the schoolteacher served as chazzan and shochet. In 1933, the community maintained a chevra kadisha and a women’s association. In March of that year, members of the SA arrested and brutally beat teacher Julius Goldstein. The community leader, Max Ledermann, died of a heart attack after seeing the state Goldstein was left in, and another Kuenzelsau Jew committed suicide. The synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night, when at least 10 local men were sent to Dachau. Thirty-six Kuenzelsau Jews and three from Nagelsberg emigrated, six died in Kuenzelsau and one committed suicide. The remaining Jews were forcibly moved into a few designated houses and used for forced labor at the local quarry. Nineteen were deported to Riga (1941), Izbica (1942) and Theresienstadt (1942). At least 30 local Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial stone was erected near the synagogue site in June 1986.
Photo: The synagogue of Kuenzelsau. Courtesy of: The Wiener Archive.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg