Yad Vashem: The Jewish Community in Gunzenhausen
The Jewish Community in Gunzenhausen
Jewish inhabitants were known to be living in our city since the middle of the 14th century. In time, the community grew and established a Synagogue (1583), a Schächter and hired a Rabbi. Even a cemetery was founded. In the middle of the last century the Jewish elementary-school was built, where one teacher taught all classes.
The number of Jewish inhabitants increases until the change of centuries. In the year 1910 they counted 291. In 1925, given the town’s address book, there were only 219, and in 1933 they decreased to 184, only 33 of these were children. We don’t know the reason for this decrease in number, but perhaps it was forced by the attacks against members of the Jewish community starting in the 20th. In 1928 the windows of the Synagogue were smashed and in 1929 tombstones on the cemetery were disturbed.
By this time there are three bank-buildings existing in the city; one Jewish restaurant and a coffee-house. Two Jewish physicians were practicing; a general practitioner and a dentist. Most of them are traders, scarcely manual workers.
The Rabbi came down from Ansbach and looked after the community as well. On Hafnermarkt 13 there is a Ritual-Bath (Mikwa).
On March the 25th, 1934, on Palm-Sunday, the first pogrom took place, and two Jewish inhabitants were killed. In July 1934 the Jewish innkeeper was shot.
Because of this the first families left town. First off, they all searched for shelter in the big cities. Many of them went to Nürnberg, Munich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt. Years later they actually left the country.
In 1933 two Jewish shops are closed, in 1934 six and in 1938 another twelve.
On November 9th, 1938 the town counted only 56 Jewish inhabitants and in January 1939 the Town is called “judenfrei”.
92 Jewish citizens lost their lives in the holocaust. Until today no Jewish people have moved to Gunzenhausen.
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