General information: First Jewish presence: 1655; peak Jewish population: 160 in 1837 (15.7% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 55
Summary: The Jewish community of Wiesenfeld established its first synagogue in or around the year 1700; a new synagogue in the late 18th century; a mikveh in 1828; a Jewish school— presided over by a teacher who also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet—in 1841; and yet another synagogue, on the corner of Erlenbacher Strasse and Schlossmannstrasse, in 1863. Burials took place in Laudenbach. In 1933, eight Jewish children studied religion in Wiesenfeld; a charitable association was active in the community that year. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue’s interior and ritual objects, including seven Torah scrolls, were destroyed. Jewish homes and businesses were ransacked, and all Jewish men were imprisoned in Karlstadt. One man was deported to Dachau, where he later died. During the Nazi period, 23 Wiesenfeld Jews emigrated, three relocated within Germany and three died in Wiesenfeld. Nineteen were deported, via Wuerzburg, to Izbica in March 1942; and six, the village’s last, were deported to Theresienstadt, also via Wuerzburg, in June and September of 1942. At least 29 Wiesenfeld Jews died in the Shoah. After the war, a farmer used the synagogue as a storage site. In 1997, four years after the Karlstadt municipality purchased and restored the building, the former synagogue reopened as a cultural center. Several memorial plaques have been unveiled in Wiesenfeld.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-BAV
Located in: bavaria