Koenigstein

General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 76 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 73 - Koenigstein, 20 - Kronberg and 15 - Falkenst.
Summary: By 1807, the Jews of Koenigstein, Kronberg and Falkenstein had formed a joint community. The Kronberg community was dissolved in 1908, after which Koenigstein became the community’s headquarters. Kronberg’s Jewish cemetery was consecrated in 1709, Falkenstein’s in the early 19th century. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, Jews in Koenigstein attended synagogue services in Kronberg and Falkenstein. In or around 1848, a prayer room—it housed a mikveh— was established in Koenigstein on Rentgasse (present-day Gerichtsstrasse). In 1906 the prayer room was replaced by a synagogue and mikveh at 9 Seilerbahnweg; the synagogue seated 72 men and 34 women. Falkenstein’s synagogue was sold at some point after 1906, Kronberg’s in 1911. In 1934, local police ordered that the Kronberg cemetery be cleared. The Koenigstein synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night. Jewish homes were damaged, six men were sent to a concentration camp and a Jewish writer from Kronberg committed suicide in Gestapo headquarters in Frankfurt. The synagogue ruins were demolished in 1939. Eighteen Koenigstein Jews and six from Kronberg were deported in 1942. A Jewish woman from Kronberg who was married to a Christian was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. At least 32 Koenigstein Jews and eight from Kronberg perished in the Shoah. A residential building, to which a memorial plaque was affixed in 1978, was erected on the synagogue site; in 1997, a bronze model of the synagogue was unveiled in a public park.
Photo: The synagogue of Koenigstein. Courtesy of: The Wiener Archive.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, PK-HNF
www.koenigstein.de
www.villa-rothschild.com
Located in: Hesse