First Jewish presence: 1660; peak Jewish population: 167 in 1838; Jewish population in 1933: 81

The earliest record of a Jewish presence in Simmern is from 1660, but records suggest that Jews might have begun living there in the late 14th century. The Jewish population peaked at 167 in 1838. In 1800, a synagogue, with an adjacent kosher slaughterhouse, was inaugurated on Hausgasse, near Schlossgasse. The synagogue was demolished in 1911, after which a new house of worship was built on the same site. Local Jews established a Jewish school in 1824 and a cemetery at some point before 1880, the latter of which was enlarged in 1898. Eighty-one Jews lived in Simmern in 1933. By the late 1930s, that number had dwindled to 20. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue was burned to the ground. Twelve (at least) Simmern Jews immigrated to Palestine; another twelve to the United States; eleven were deported to the East in April 1940; and two, Simmern’s last, were deported in June 1940. At least 32 former Jewish residents of Simmern perished in the Shoah. The synagogue’s ruins were demolished in 1950. In 1988, a memorial monument was unveiled in front of the local castle; in 1992 the cemetery became a designated a historical site.
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., Führer durch die Jüdische Gemeindeverwaltung und Wohlfahrtspflege in Deutschland 1923-1933, Andreas Nachama, Simon Hermann [Eds.], [publisher] Edition Hentrich, 1995., “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 Simmern
Exhibits Pogrom Night 1938 - A Memorial to the Destroyed Synagogues of Germany

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