“Assenheim”
Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities:
Germany volume 3
(Germany)

50°18' / 08°49'

Translation from Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1992


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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities, Germany
Volume 3, page 77, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1992


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[Page 77]

Assenheim, Germany

A city that is today a part of the city of Niddatal in the Wetterau region.

Donated by Edna Berkovits
Translated by Jerrold Landau

 

Population

YearPopulationJews%
1670 20 
1828 37 
1861942879.2
1871 96 
18801,033727.0
1900970505.1
19101,132353.1
19251,244262.1
19331,216211.7
19391,28890.8
Feb 5, 1942 6 

Religious affiliation by percentage in 1933

JewsCatholicsProtestantsOthers
1.78.090.00.3

History of the Community

Jewish residents of Assenheim are first mentioned in 1277. At the time, Assenheim served as an administrative and financial center and had coinage. The Jewish community of Assenheim disappeared in the middle of the 14th century, almost certainly as a result of the decrees of the black plague (1348/9). However, after a short period, at the end of the 15th century, other Jews who were expelled from various places in southern Germany settled in Assenheim.

As a result of the debate between the two families of nobility which ruled Assenheim and took over the rights to benefit from the income that came in from the Jews, the local Jews refused to pay a special fee to one of the local rulers in 1567. As a consequence, farmers broke into their houses, pillaged, burned documents of debt, and many Jews were forced to escape from their empty houses. The opposing noble family demanded that the pillaged property of the Jews be returned immediately, but the judicial proceedings lasted until 1573 and ended with a compromise.

The Jews of Assenheim had the right to appoint a rabbi, who had restricted legal jurisdiction for internal matters, as well as communal administrators. A Jewish cemetery in Assenheim was first mentioned in 1695, and in 1704, the New Synagogue was mentioned. A new cemetery was opened at around 1800, and in 1862, a new synagogue was dedicated. During the 1890s, the community employed a teacher of religion who also taught the children of nearby Bruchenbrucken, and served as well as a cantor and a shochet (ritual slaughterer).

One Jew fell during the First World War.

From then until the end of the 19th century the population of the community progressively declined. On the eve of the accession of the Nazis to power, only 21 Jews remained. They were merchants, cattle merchants and butchers. The community belonged to the Orthodox rabbinate of Upper Hessen (see entry). The head of the community was Zigmund Schnitzer. The Jews of Bruchenbrucken (15 Jews) and Bönstadt (9) also belonged to the community.

The percentage of vote for the Nazis in the Reichstag elections went up from 8.1% in the elections of September 14, 1930 (whereas it was 18.5% in Hessen) to 51.2% in the Landstag elections of June 19, 1932 (whereas it was 44%).

Under Nazi Rule

The community still conducted public worship in 1936. The community existed officially in 1938, with six families. The veteran religion teacher of the community lived at that time in Gross-Karben, but continued to teach the children of the community.

On November 9, 1938, the hooligans broke into the home of a local family, destroyed the dwelling, pillaged the property, beat the elderly head of the family who defended himself with a stick, and put out his eyes with a blow from an axe. His son was imprisoned.

The exodus of the Jews from Assenheim continued, and in 1940, several Jews immigrated to Santo Domingo. On February 5, 1942, five Jews remained there. All of them except for one Jew who was married to a German woman were deported to the camps in Poland on September 30, 1942.

After the War

In 1946, one of the hooligans of Kristallnacht in Assenheim was sentenced to two years of imprisonment. On April 12, 1960, 26 monuments in the cemetery were desecrated. The criminals were not captured.

Bibliography

Lummitsch, Rudolf: Geschichte der Stadt Assenheim, Niddatal, 1977.

Battenberg, Freidrich: Assenheimer Judenpogrome vor dem Reichskammergerich, 900 Jahre Geschichgte der Juden in Hessen, Wiesbaden, 1983.

BT


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