Camberg

General information: First Jewish presence: 15th century; peak Jewish population: 115 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 63
Summary: The Jewish community of Camberg (present-day Bad Camberg) was established in the 18th century. By 1880, the Jews of Steinfischbach, Eisenbach and Walsdorf had been affiliated with the community. Records from 1770 mention a synagogue, and we also know that, in 1838, a new synagogue was inaugurated at 4 Schmiedegasse (41 seats for men, 24 for women). The community maintained a mikveh and a school for religious studies, the latter of which was presided over by a teacher who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet; the last teacher retired in 1911. Camberg was home to two Jewish cemeteries: the first was consecrated in the mid-19th century, the second, located inside the town’s general burial grounds, in the early 20th century. In 1933, a teacher from Idstein instructed seven schoolchildren in religion. A welfare society and a Jewish society for history and literature were active in Camberg. On Pogrom Night, rioters destroyed the synagogue’s interior and threw out the Torah scrolls and ritual objects, after which the building was destroyed. The homes and businesses of five Jewish families were plundered, a local Jew and his son were assaulted, four men were sent to Buchenwald and a Jewish couple committed suicide. Several weeks later, all gravestones from the two cemeteries were stolen. Thirty-four Jews emigrated (19 went to the United States), 19 relocated within Germany and seven died in Bad Camberg, including four who committed suicide. In 1939, a local Jewish woman was sent to a concentration camp, where she died; and in June 1942, the two remaining Jews were forcibly moved to Frankfurt, from where they were later deported. At least 40 former Jewish residents of Camberg, four more from Steinfischbach and eight from Eisenbach perished in the Shoah. In 1991, a commemorative plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
www.holocaust-trc.org/unwanted.pdf
Located in: Hesse