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

50°51' / 09°28'

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 355, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1992


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[Page 355]

Oberaula, Germany
A village in the county of Schwalm-Eder.

YearTotal
Population
Number
of Jews
Percent
Jewish
1812 24 families 
1835 45 persons 
186192110611.5
18718118210.1
18858239111.1
18957889011.4
1905857708.2
19251,113797.1
19331,197796.6
19391,231393.2

Religious Affiliation by Percentage in 1925

JewsCatholicsProtestantsOthers
7.12.290.30.4

Community History

In 1646, two protected Jewish families are mentioned in Oberaula. In 1671, the protection papers were renewed for four families, in 1774 there were five Jewish families in the village and in 1776, there were eight. Two Oberaula Jews fought in the German war for independence in 1813-1814.

The Jews of Oberaula mainly supported themselves as cattle traders and in other forms of business, and some of them dealt in some way with agriculture – mainly growing grain, potatoes and vegetables for their own use and for sale. In the 1870s, Dr. Lissauer, a Jewish doctor, lived in Oberaula. In 1893, Dr. Beckel, the anti-Semitic leader, accused Jews from Oberaula for robbing one of his workers from a neighboring village, but refused to disclose who it was (and it is doubtful if he based his accusation on fact).

Four Jews from Oberaula fell in WWI (1914-1918): Karl Goldschmidt, Max Heilbrunn, Joseph Wallach and Markus Wallach.

Community Life. In 1837 the Oberaula synagogue was completed which also housed the Oberaula Jewish primary school. During the years 1847-1875, a Mr. Rothschild was headmaster. In 1869, 18 pupils studied there in three classes; in 1890 – 29 pupils and in 1901 – 19. In 1908, Moses Brandes, the senior teacher who had begun his service in school in 1878, received a Casearean Letter of Excellence. The community cemetery, opened in the 1880s, also served the Jews of Ottrau, Hausen, Schwarzenborn and Raboldshausen.

On the eve of the Nazis takeover, the community had a synagogue, a cemetery, a mikveh and a school in one of the synagogue rooms, in which six children studied under the teacher, Heilbrunn. There was also an active women's organization – established in 1907 – and a men's organization. The community belonged to the Marburg district rabbinate and it was headed by Mayer Rosenberg. Before that, David Wallach held that position for 33 years. He died in 1927. This community also included eight Jews from Schwarzenborn and two from Hausen.

During the elections to the Reichstag on November 6, 1932, the Nazis received 78.4% of the residents' votes, almost twice the Hesse-Nassau average (41.2%), and the Social Democrats received only 15.7%.

Under Nazi rule

In 1933, 25 Jewish gravestones were defaced. On April 1, 1934 the school was closed. At this time SS men who used to break into the homes of two Jews and steal, were arrested but following the demonstrations on behalf of the arrested, the two Jewish families were forced to leave Oberaula in February 1935.

In 1938 the Jewish artifacts were moved to Cassel and destroyed there on Kristallnacht. The synagogue in Oberaula was also destroyed at that time.

From 1934 to 1940, 13 Jews from Oberaula emigrated to the United States, three to Israel, one to France and 44 others to other places in Germany or to unknown locations. Six Jews died in Oberaula. In 1942, the last 13 Jews were deported to camps in the east. At least 16 members of the community perished – one in Auschwitz, one in Maidanek – and the rest in unknown locations.

After the War

Today the local village Council takes care of the 5,879 meter Jewish cemetery. In November 1989, the Council put up two memorial plaques, one in the cemetery and one where the synagogue used to be.

Jews of the Neighboring Villages

Schwarzenborn. Protected Jews are first mentioned in 1664 in Schwarzenborn. In 1744 two Jewish families settled there and in 1776 three families who dealt in commerce. In the 19th century the number of Jews there grew to 62 in 1827, 102 (80 adults and 22 children) in 1837 and 79 in 1861.

At that time there was a synagogue there and they held religious studies. During the 20th century the number of Jews sharply declined to 19 in 1905 and 11 in 1925.

During 1937-1939 8 Jews moved from Schwarzenborn to Frankfurt and Kassel.

Hausen. In 1744 three Jewish families were settled in Hausen, two in 1776, 29 in 1861, 24 in 1905 and seven in 1925.

An independent community existed in Raboldshausen in the 19th century made up of 144 persons in 1835, about a seventh of the total population of the village. The community owned a cemetery and a school. In 1925 only five Jews remained.


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