Gehaus

General information: First Jewish presence: 1730; peak Jewish population: 298 in 1823; Jewish population in 1933: 35
Summary: This village community of cattle dealers and small traders developed in the first half of the 19th century. By the 1820s, at which point Jews constituted a third of the total population, the Jewish community had established a synagogue (next to a private residence). Although a Jewish elementary school was founded in 1830, it was incorporated into the village's general school 40 years later. Many Jews and non-Jews, seeking better economic opportunities, left Gehaus during the second half of the 19th century. The anti-Jewish boycott of 1933 simply accelerated this decades-long process. The synagogue, school, and Jewish-owned stores were vandalized on Pogrom Night, November 1938, and the cemetery was desecrated. The few Jews who still lived in Gehaus in the early 1940s were deported in 1942. The school building was eventually torn down in 1975. A memorial plaque, situated in the cemetery, commemorates Gehaus' former Jewish community.
Author / Sources: Harold Slutzkin
Sources: EJL, LJG, SIA
Located in: Thuringia