First Jewish presence: 1639; peak Jewish population: 144 in 1863; Jewish population in 1933: 91The Schweich synagogue, first mentioned in 1820 and located on the corner of Richtstrasse and Bahnhofstrasse, replaced an 18th-century prayer room; the congregation (for whom there were 25-30 seats) conducted services on the upper floor, as the lower floor housed a schoolroom. In 1852, the community inaugurated a new synagogue on Richtstrasse (renovated in 1886), but records do not tell us much about its architectural style or seating capacity. Schweich’s Jewish cemetery, consecrated in 1776, was located on Kurfuerstliche Acht. In 1933, 91 Jews lived in Schweich. Fifteen pupils attended the Jewish elementary school, and a chevra kadisha, a women’s association and a youth group were active in the community. Most Jews left Schweich during the next few years, so that by 1939 only 14 Jews remained in the town. On Pogrom Night, axe-wielding rioters desecrated the cemetery and destroyed the synagogue’s windows, interior and ritual objects. Sold to a farmer in 1940, the synagogue later housed prisoners of war. In October 1941, the town’s remaining five Jews were deported to the East. At least 65 Schweich Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue was used as a warehouse after 1951. In 1984, however, the town bought and renovated the building; and in 1989 it was reopened as a cultural center, near the entrance to which a memorial stone has been unveiled.
Heike Zaun Goshen
Copyright: Pogrom Night 1938 - A Memorial to the Destroyed Synagogues of Germany/ germansynagogues.bh.org.il
NotesSources: Ashkenaz House, www.ashkenazhouse.org/synagogue-main.htm Alemannia Judaica, www.alemannia-judaica.de The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, Shmuel Spector [Ed.], [publisher] Yad Vashem and the New York University Press, 2001.
|Date Added||May 19, 2020|
|Exhibits||Pogrom Night 1938 - A Memorial to the Destroyed Synagogues of Germany|
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