General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 130 in 1924; Jewish population in 1933: 64
Summary: Jews resettled in Amberg in the 1850s, but it was only in November 1894 that they were recognized as an independent Jewish community. (The Amberg Jews had been members of the nearby Sulzbach Jewish community before the 1850s.) In 1881, local Jews began to conduct services in a communal room. The community established a synagogue in 1896, an elementary school in 1899 (the teacher also served as chazzan and shochet) and a cemetery in 1927. Community organizations included a chevra kadisha, a women’s association, branches of Zionist associations and a Keren Kayemet (Jewish National Fund). On Pogrom Night, SA men armed with pick axes smashed the synagogue interior and set fire to the furniture and ritual objects. Many Jews, including women, were arrested, after which the men were deported to Dachau. Seventeen Amberg Jews fled the country, 23 relocated within Germany and three committed suicide. The remaining Jews were deported in 1942: seven to Piaski, Poland (in April), and three to Theresienstadt (in September). At least 47 Amberg Jews perished in the Shoah. Jewish DPs established a new community in Amberg during the 1950s. During the 1990s, Jewish immigrants from the former USSR renovated the synagogue, expanded the cemetery and rejuvenated Jewish community life.
Photo: On the right, the synagogue of Amberg. Courtesy of: Town Archive of Amberg.
Author / Sources: Maren Cohen; Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-BAV, SG-BAV
Located in: bavaria