Schierstein

General information: First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 70 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 60
Summary: The Jewish community of Schierstein, founded in the early 19th century, belonged to the Wiesbaden synagogue district. Jews prayed in a small basement room until the 1850s, when the community built, at great financial risk, a proper synagogue. The Jews of Schierstein, served by a teacher who also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet, maintained a Jewish school and a mikveh. The Jewish population of 1843 was 65; a few Jews moved to Schierstein during the ensuing years, and the community peaked at 70 in 1905. Sixty Jews lived in Schierstein in 1933, but the population, in response to Nazi oppression, began to dwindle soon afterward. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), the interior of the synagogue was burned; several Jewish-owned homes and businesses were also demolished, with local residents participating in the destruction. Those Jews who still lived in Schierstein in 1942 were deported; only one survived. A memorial was later unveiled at the former synagogue site, commemorating both the synagogue and the destroyed Jewish community.
Author / Sources: Fred Gottlieb
Sources: AJ, EJ, LJG
Located in: Hesse