Schluchtern

General information: First Jewish presence; 1657; peak Jewish population: 99 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 28
Summary: In 1800, the Jewish community of Schluchtern established a prayer room in a private residence. The community’s school on Storrgasse (present-day 15 Brunnengasse) was presided over by teachers who also served as cantors and ritual slaughterers; Elias Schwarzwaelder held this post for 47 years (1860-1907). A new synagogue was constructed on the schoolhouse site in 1914, after the latter burned down. Local Jews maintained their own cemetery (laid in 1882) and mikveh (opened in 1845). In response to the worsening political situation, many Jewish-owned businesses (including a cigarette factory, a soap manufacturing company and an inn) were sold in the 1930s. On Pogrom Night, the prayer hall’s interior and ritual objects were wrecked; Jewish men were arrested and jailed for several weeks. In 1939, the prayer hall building was sold to a neighboring farmer, who used it as a barn. Several Jews moved to Schluchtern after 1933. Eight local Jews emigrated, 25 relocated within Germany, six died in Schluchtern and 12 were deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. At least 18 Schluchtern Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building, which had been confiscated after the war, was sold back to the neighboring farmer in 1950. In 1966, a residential building was erected there.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU, PK BW
Located in: Baden-Wuerttemberg