Koenigheim

General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 121 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: 37
Summary: Although Jews lived in Koenigheim during the 13th century, a community was not founded there until the 17th century. Local Jews maintained a synagogue for part of that century, but prayed in nearby Gisigheim from the year 1675 until 1726. The community established a prayer room (in a private residence) in 1726; a synagogue—it housed a mikveh, a schoolroom and an apartment for a teacher—in 1831; and a cemetery in 1875. Destroyed during a fire in 1886, the synagogue was rebuilt in 1887/88. In 1933, 37 Jews lived in Koenigheim. A youth association was active there, and a teacher (he was also the chazzan and shochet) instructed three schoolchildren in religion. The synagogue was plundered on Pogrom Night (November 1938), and its interior set on fire, after which the authorities appropriated the building. Twenty-four Koenigheim Jews emigrated, eight relocated within Germany and one died in Koenigheim. In September 1939, the remaining Jews were locked in a house and forbidden to go out, receive guests, use the telephone or open the windows. Eleven Jews remained there until they were deported to Gurs in October 1940. At least 13 Koenigheim Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1945, the synagogue building was pulled down. A plaque was unveiled there in 1985, and the cemetery still exists.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU, PK-BW
Located in: Baden-Wuerttemberg