General information: First Jewish presence: approx. 1570; peak Jewish population: 313 in 1855; Jewish population in 1933: 51
Summary: The Jewish community of Altdorf was founded in the early 18th century. By that century’s end, the community had hired a rabbi and consecrated a synagogue and mikveh. A new synagogue of Moorish design was inaugurated in Altdorf in 1868. Altdorf ’s Jewish school, established in 1835, was shut down, as were all confessional schools in Baden, in 1876. Jewish burials were conducted in Schmieheim. In 1933, the 51 Jews of Altdorf still maintained a chevra kadisha and a Bikur Cholim; a teacher from Kippenheim instructed three children in religion. On Pogrom Night, SA men broke into the synagogue, smashed windows and doors and destroyed the furniture and ritual objects. Jewish homes were heavily damaged, and eight Jewish men were sent to Dachau. In total, 15 local Jews emigrated, 20 relocated within Germany and four died in Altdorf. The remaining 12 Jews were deported to the camp in Gurs (France) on October 22, 1940. At least 22 Altdorf Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue was used as a factory after 1945. In 1962, the Jewish community of Karlsruhe suggested that a memorial plaque be affixed to the building, but the town council turned down the request. It was not until 1998, in fact, that a plaque was unveiled there. The building is now a cultural center.
Author / Sources: Yehoshua Ahrens; Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BW
Located in: baden-wuerttemberg