Gambach

General information: First Jewish presence: mid- 15th century; peak Jewish population: 78 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 56
Summary: A Jewish presence was first recorded in Gambach in the mid- 15th century. Jews later disappeared from the town (most likely as a result of persecution), but records from 1705 indicate that Jews were living there once again in that year. The community consecrated a Jewish cemetery in or around 1800 and a synagogue (with 27 seats for men, 20 for women) in 1843. In 1905, the community, always small, reached its peak membership of 78 Jews. Fifty-six Jews lived in Gambach in 1933; six schoolchildren studied religion in nearby Nieder-Weisel. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue’s interior was destroyed, after which the building was set on fire. Three Jewish homes were vandalized and ransacked that night. Approximately 17 Jews moved to Gambach after 1933. Seventeen local Jews emigrated (16 went to Argentina), 31 relocated within Germany and died in Gambach. In September 1942, seven were deported to Theresienstadt and 11 to Poland. At least 25 Gambach Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue was later converted into a residential building.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut
Sources: AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: Hesse