General information: First Jewish presence: 1765; peak Jewish population: 61 in 1880 (25% of the local population); Jewish population in 1933: 1
Summary: Wannbach is in Oberfranken (Upper Franconia), in an area known today as Fraenkische Schweiz. The town is now part of Pretzfeld. It is thought that Jewish families lived in Wannbach in the 17th century as “protected Jews.” The earliest record of a Jewish presence in Wannbach, a contract dated 1765, permitted three Jewish families to live next to the castle of the Count of Seinsheim. In 1770, the tiny Jewish community inaugurated a synagogue—the mikveh was located in the basement—at Haus Nr. 25 (literally “house number 25”). Although local Jews never consecrated their own cemetery (burials were conducted in Hagenbach), they did manage to establish a Jewish school in 1829. In 1910, by which time the Jews of Wannbach had not been able to gather a minyan for 10 years, the community joined that of Hagenbach, resulting in a new name for the community: the religious community of Hagenbach- Wannbach. The defunct synagogue was sold in 1900, after which it was used as a shed. In 1925, only four Jews lived in Wannbach; and in 1934 the Hagenbach-Wannbach community was dissolved. According to records, the remaining Jews moved to Bamberg. Nevertheless, on Pogrom Night, Nazis destroyed the interior of Wannbach’s former synagogue (the building was later torn down) as well as the home of Wannbach’s only remaining Jew, Ernst Wollner. Wollner was sent to the Forchheim prison and never returned. According to Yad Vashem, 15 Wannbach Jews were killed in the Shoah. As of this writing, a memorial has never been erected in the town.
Author / Sources: Benjamin Rosendahl
Sources: AJ, EJL, LJG, SG-H, YV
Located in: bavaria