General information: First Jewish presence: 18th century; peak Jewish population: 250 in 1837; Jewish population in 1933: 29
Summary: In 1803, this community built a synagogue with 80 places for men and 40 for women. By the end of the 19th century, the synagogue building housed a workshop in which a Gentile carpenter made coffins for the Jewish community. The synagogue also housed a mikveh and, until 1924, an elementary school; the school was presided over by a teacher who served the community as a chazzan and shochet. Local Jews buried their dead in Bechhofen (until 1906) and Gunzenhausen, and we also know that the community ran two chevra kadisha organizations (one for men, the other for women) and two charitable organizations. In 1933, 29 Jews lived in Altenmuhr. Most left during the next six years, and by January 1936, all but one business was refusing to serve Jews. On Pogrom Night, Altenmuhr’s remaining nine Jews were sent to the Gunzenhausen concentration camp. SA men attacked the synagogue, but, as it had been purchased by the authorities several weeks before, did not destroy the structure. Later, in January, 1939, the village was declared Judenrein (“free of Jews”). At least 29 Altenmuhr Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue served as a storehouse until its demolition in 1968. A memorial plaque was unveiled in Altenmuhr in November 1986.
Author / Sources: Maren Cohen; Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BAV
Located in: bavaria