First Jewish presence: 1301; peak Jewish population: 135 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: 83

The Jewish community of Sobernheim, which emerged in the 17th century, belonged to the regional community of Bad Kreuznach until 1926, when Sobernheim was recognized as an independent community to which the Jews from nearby Meddersheim were affiliated. Jews conducted services in private residences in Sobernheim until the establishment, in 1858, of a synagogue at 9 Gymnasialstrasse (renovated in 1904 and again in 1929). Sobernheim’s Jewish elementary school, founded in 1840, later became a school for religious studies whose teacher performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. We also know that the community maintained a mikveh and a cemetery, the latter of which was established in the early 19th century and enlarged in 1856. In 1933, a chevra kadisha and a youth association were active in the community. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), rioters damaged the synagogue, burned prayer books, vandalized Jewish homes and desecrated the cemetery. The synagogue was sold to the municipality in 1939, after which the German army used the building as a storage site. Approximately 150 Jews lived in Sobernheim during the Nazi period (including Jews who moved there after 1933). In all, 76 Sobernheim Jews emigrated, 23 relocated within Germany and 12, the town’s last, were deported to the East in 1942. At least 40 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The cemetery houses a memorial (erected there in 1950) and a plaque (unveiled in 2005). The synagogue was sold yet again in 1953, after which the new owner, too, used the building as a storage site. In 2001, however, the municipality bought the building; a project launched in 2008 aims to restore the building and reopen it as a memorial and cultural center.
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. m


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

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