Habitzheim

General information: First Jewish presence: 1604; peak Jewish population: 78 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 27
Summary: The Jewish community of Habitzheim, founded in approximately 1800, conducted services in a prayer room until 1827, when a synagogue, mikveh and schoolroom were inaugurated on present-day 19/21 Kroetengasse. The community employed a teacher of religion who also functioned as chazzan and shochet; beginning in the 20th century, however, these services were provided by the teacher/ shochet from Hoechst im Odenwald. Jewish burials took place in Dieburg. By 1933, synagogue services were held only rarely. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue’s interior and ritual objects were destroyed. A local Jew was sent to Buchenwald that night. Twelve local Jews emigrated, others relocated within Germany and one woman committed suicide (in 1934). A Habitzheim Jew was deported to Poland in March 1942; and in September 1942, Habitzheim’s last six Jews were deported to Theresienstadt. At least sixteen local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was later converted into a kindergarten and playground. In 1972, the building was pulled down, after which a parking lot was built on the site. We also know that another kindergarten was built there at a later date. In November 2008, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site. That same month, a memorial was also erected at a school in nearby Lengfeld.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
Located in: Hesse