General information: First Jewish presence: 1446; peak Jewish population: 180 in 1837 (15.4% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 34
Summary: By 1700, the Jews of Massbach had established a prayer room in a private residence, and we also know that rabbis served the community throughout the 18th century. The community’s synagogue—probably built in the early 18th century—burned down in 1747; we do not know when it was rebuilt, but records indicate that it was renovated thoroughly in 1860. The community established a new synagogue (at 4 Poppenlauerstrasse) in 1899 and a cemetery in 1902. In 1933, the teacher/chazzan instructed four schoolchildren. After he emigrated in 1938, the schoolteacher from Geroda supervised the religious education of Massbach’s two remaining Jewish pupils. On the morning before Pogrom Night, SA men destroyed the synagogue interior and its contents (including the Torah scrolls); windows in Jewish homes were smashed. That evening, SA men, accompanied by many local residents, returned to the Jewish-owned houses and further damaged the occupants’ personal property. Jewish men were arrested and sent to Bad Kissingen. Fourteen Massbach Jews emigrated, seven relocated within Germany and three died in Massbach. In 1942, eight were deported to Izbica (via Wuerzburg) and to Theresienstadt. At least 30 Massbach Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was later converted into a combined residential and commercial property. Massbach’s Christian cemetery houses a memorial stone.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK BAV
Located in: bavaria