Koenigsbach

General information: First Jewish presence: 1699; peak Jewish population: 200 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: 102
Summary: In 1804, the Koenigsbach Jewish community replaced its prayer room with a synagogue at Pforzheimer Strasse. Destroyed by fire in 1833, the synagogue was rebuilt in 1834 to include a school, an apartment and a mikveh. Koenigsbach’s Jewish school was closed in 1876, as were all confessional schools in Baden. In 1933, the community still maintained a chevra kadisha, a sick fund and a Shomrei Shabat association for Sabbathobservant Jews. A teacher instructed 17 schoolchildren in religion that year. By the end of 1938, all Jewish-owned businesses had closed down. A Jew was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen in 1938, where he was eventually killed. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue was damaged, as were Jewish homes and businesses; Jewish men were forced to help burn the synagogue’s holy books and Torah scrolls, after which the men were sent to Dachau. A Jew was hospitalized as a result of wounds inflicted on him that night. Eighty-eight local Jews emigrated, one Jewish person suffering from mental illness was killed in the Nazis’ “euthanasia” program, and 10 were sent to Gurs in October 1940. One Jewish woman—she was married to a Christian— survived the war in Koenigsbach. At least 55 Koenigsbach Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was pulled down in 1939. In 1988, the town unveiled a memorial plaque; at the cemetery—it was consecrated in 1872—a plaque has also been unveiled.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, HU, PK-BW
Located in: Baden-Wuerttemberg