First Jewish presence: 1585; peak Jewish population: 101 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (93 in 1925)

By the early 19th century, Selters was home to a Jewish community, with which the Jews of Herschbach, Maxsain, Hartenfels, Rueckeroth and Nordhofen were affiliated. The Selters community established a prayer room (in a private residence) and a synagogue on Waldstrasse in 1705/06 and 1848, respectively. The Jews of Selters maintained a mikveh, and we also know that during the years 1875 to 1933, the community was served by a teacher of religion, who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. In 1933, six Jewish schoolchildren received religiousinstruction.TwoJewishassociations(one for men, the other for women), a chevra kadisha and a youth organization were active in Selters. The community also maintained a library. Einhardstrasse (established in 1714). Records from the year 1740 mention another synagogue; later, in 1872, a new synagogue was inaugurated on Frankfurter Strasse. By 1866, the community had established an elementary school, a school for Jewish studies and a new mikveh (on Kleine Rathausgasse). In 1933, a chevra kadisha, two welfare societies and a sisterhood were active in the community. The synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night. Jews were assaulted; ten men were sent to Klosterhof and, later, to Buchenwald. By May 1939, only 70 Jews lived in Seligenstadt. In 1941, the remaining 45 Jews were moved into so-called “Jews’ houses”; on September 11, 1942, all 32 occupants were deported to Theresienstadt. At least 108 Seligenstadt Jews perished in the Shoah. The cemetery, which served as a meadow during the years 1942 to 1945, was ravaged by the Nazis; very few gravestones remain, but a monument was later erected there. A memorial stone was unveiled at the former synagogue site in 1965; in 2007/08, the site was partially restored. Esther Sarah Evans Sources: Alemannia Judaica, Lexikon der jüdischen Gemeinde in Deutschen Sprachraum, Klaus Dieter-Alicke, [publisher] Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2008. Selters (Rhineland-Palatinate) – First Jewish presence: 1585; peak Jewish population: 101 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (93 in 1925) In September 1938, windows in the synagogue and in several Jewish homes were smashed. On Pogrom Night, the Jewish men of Selters, Herschbach and Maxsain were arrested. The teacher was beaten, windows in Jewish residences were broken and property from affluent homes was stolen. At the synagogue, the rioters burned the ritual objects and Torah scrolls before setting the whole building on fire. Two local Jews were sent to Dachau on Pogrom Night. The synagogue ruins were demolished in 1940, after which the property was seized by the government. Most Jews had left Selters and the nearby villages by 1939; 27 of them emigrated. At least 31 Selters Jews perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue property was sold in 1950. In 1988, a memorial stone was unveiled at a local church. Selters’ Jewish cemetery was desecrated in August 1999.
Esther Sarah Evans
Copyright: Pogrom Night 1938 - A Memorial to the Destroyed Synagogues of Germany/


Sources: Alemannia Judaica, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, Shmuel Spector [Ed.], [publisher] Yad Vashem and the New York University Press, 2001., Pinkas HaKehillot Germania/ פנקס הקהילות גרמניה (Hebrew), [published by] Yad Vashem, 1992: Hesse,Hesse-Nassau, Frankfurt , “und dies ist die Pforte des Himmels”: Synagogen Rheinland-Pfalz/Saarland, Will Schmid, Stefan Fischbach and Ingrid Westerhoff [Eds.], publication initiated by Joachim Glatz and Meier Schwarz, [publisher] Phillipp Von Zabern, 2005., Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names,


Date Added May 19, 2020
Category Residential
Country DE
State Rhineland-Palatinate
City Selters
Exhibits Pogrom Night 1938 - A Memorial to the Destroyed Synagogues of Germany

Have additional information, photos, connections, or other resources to contribute?

Help Us in the race against time to time document Jewish history!