General information: First Jewish presence: 1651; peak Jewish population: 403 in 1834; Jewish population in 1933: 46
Summary: In 1719, the Jews of Illereichen established the foundations of a permanent community. The Jewish population grew rapidly, not least because nearby Altenstadt was a trading hub. Altenstadt was home to a regional rabbinate until 1878, after which the community was under the jurisdiction of the Augsburg rabbinate. Local Jews prayed in the Altenstadt synagogue and buried their dead in the Illereichen cemetery, both of which had been dedicated in 1719. The community built a mikveh in 1831 and a new synagogue in 1803. A Talmud Torah, a chevra kadisha and a women’s association were active in Altenstadt. On Pogrom Night, SA and SS men burned the synagogue’s contents and damaged Jewish homes and businesses. They tried to burn down the building the following night, but were prevented from doing so by Gentile residents. Five Jews were arrested and sent to Dachau; three others were imprisoned for two weeks. Six local Jews fled, one was deported to Buchenwald and 14 were sent to Munich in March 1942. Of these, 13 were deported to Piaski, Poland. The last seven Jews were deported to Theresienstadt in July 1942. The synagogue’s ruins were demolished in 1955. A memorial plaque was unveiled at the site in 1984.
Photo: The synagogue of Altenstadt. Courtesy of: The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, the Harburger Collection, Art. No. P160/35.
Author / Sources: Maren Cohen; Sources: AJ, PK-BAV
Located in: bavaria