49°25' / 8°42'
Translation from Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah
Translation from Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem, 1972
Published in Jerusalem, 1972
Project Coordinator and Translator
Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem for permission
This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities, Germany
Volume 2, page 309, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1972
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material
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In the sixth decade of the 14th. Century an additional group of Jews was permitted to settle and at their head, Rabbi Lebelang, who received Power of Attorney from the authorities to levy fines on members of the community who refused to accept his jurisdiction. During this period, Ruprecht the First granted asylum in Heidelberg to exiles from Worms and Speyer but at a high cost in Protection Fees. These settlers, among whom were several people of standing, were permitted to purchase property and build houses. The Jews of Heidelberg supported themselves by trading in cattle, peddling, as agents or middle-men, stall-holders in the town market-place or as dealers in currency and money-lending. During the last quarter of the same century the number of edicts against the Jews was increased, hampering their continuing progress. There were many incidents of the local University students intriguing against them, as well. At the time of the general expulsion of the Jews of the region ordered by Ruprecht the Second, Elector of the Palatinate, the Jews of Heidelberg were also banished from the town. Their houses, assets and other property, including the cemetery, were transferred to the University free of charge and the synagogue converted to a church. Holy texts, rare writings and manuscripts were seized and given to the University which sold them to anyone who cared to purchase them, save one copy of the Talmud which was retained in the University library. During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), this copy was transferred to the Vatican in Rome.
In 1660, five Jewish families dwelt in Heidelberg - all of them named Oppenheim and one of them, Moshe Oppenheim became the representative and leader of the community and one of the five leaders of the Sons of the State organization. With the French invasion of the Palatinate in 1689, he escaped to Fürth where he also became the leader of the community. In 1693 he returned to Heidelberg and died there in 1701.
He was succeeded by his son, Lazarus. Samuel Oppenheimer (1630-1703), Moshe Oppenheimer's brother was appointed Agent to the Court of Karl Ludwig and Chief Tax-Collector of the Sons of the State In 1679 he moved to Vienna and was appointed by King Leopold the First to the position of Banker and Chief Supplier to the army. As a result of his standing he was able to do much for his fellow-religionists - (for example he was able to have the edict banishing the Jews from Vienna rescinded).
At the end of the 1780's when the Palatinate was put to the sword by France, about 160 Jews found sanctuary in Heidelberg, some of them from Mannheim, and were allowed to remain in the town provided they shared in the cost of lodging and maintaining the army
The Letter of Patronage of 1698, granted to the Jews of the Palatinate, restricted the number of Jews in Heidelberg to 3 families. They were forbidden to dwell outside The Jews' Lane, to maintain stalls in the town market-place, or to trade in meat other than that used for their own needs and consumption.
Apart from the family of Samuel Oppenheimer, there were several rich and respected families among the Jewish newcomers - Carlebach, Zimmermann and Flegenheimer. A few of them were appointed tax-collectors for the Sons of the State. The well-known Court Agent of the Court of the Ruler of Württemberg, Süss Oppenheimer ( the Jew Süss) was born in Heidelberg.
Prayer meetings took place in the home of the leader, Feist Oppenheimer whose house was next door to the Jesuit monastery. In 1714, the monks complained that ....their prayers are deafening us, and demanded that the Jewish house of prayer be relocated. The City Council investigated the complaint and found that the noise had originated from a group of students who habitually interfered with prayer meetings. Nevertheless, members of the community feared that their house of worship would be closed and a number of them acquired a house and converted it into a synagogue. Feist Oppenheimer objected to a second synagogue being opened in the community and a serious schism developed in the community which continued for 22 years, being settled only in 1736 and with the intervention of the authorities: the prayer hall was closed and the place of worship officially declared as the synagogue.
From the second half of the 17th Century, the dead were buried in nearby Wiesloch. In 1702 the Jewish community decided to open a cemetery of its own. The site which was decided upon, after extended and tiring negotiations with the city authorities, was a field far outside the city gates. The cemetery was used not only by the Jews of Heidelberg but also those of surrounding communities.
In 1816 the Professor of Philosophy, Jakob Friedrich Fries, authored a monograph entitled - The Danger to the Welfare of Germany and the German Character Caused by the Jews. (Über die Gefährdung des Wohlstandes und des Charakters der Deutschen durch die Juden). Fries' extreme claims against the Jews were refuted by the Jewish lecturer in Law, Sigmund Wilhelm Zimmern (b.1796), the pamphlet was seized by the authorities and Fries relieved of his position. The article nevertheless attracted many readers and was one of the factors leading to the outbreak of the HEP HEP disturbances in Heidelberg three years later (1819). The local civil guard and the town census officer did nothing to stop or regulate the disturbances which were eventually suppressed by local students headed by Professors Tybault and Daube. There were also anti-Semitic outbursts during the revolution of March 1848. Members of the local Guild of Master Tailors, who opposed the rescinding of obligatory membership of all tailors to their Guild, attacked Jewish shops causing much damage to property.
The Jews of Heidelberg took an active part in the struggle for emancipation being carried on in Baden. In 1831 they sent a petition to the Baden Parliament and in 1841 Adolf Zimmern, one of the leaders of the community, a member of the Upper Council, on his own initiative approached the State Parliament on the same subject. In 1846 the second General Meeting of The Association for the Improvement of the External and Internal Situation of the Jews of Baden debated the needs of the hour - as a welfare organization, changes in its constitution and the struggle for emancipation. After the fight was crowned with success in 1862, many Jews attained standing of considerable importance in the fields of economics, society and culture, and public management, although the social barriers were not completely removed and many Jews found it difficult to obtain acceptance in key positions in public institutions, in the University and in the army.
In 1821, the lecturer and preacher, Karl Rehfuss (see above), opened a Jewish elementary school. Rehfuss, who in his youth had been educated by the Pestalozzi system, introduced advanced teaching techniques into the school and also several school books of a reform nature, some of which he himself had written. In the early 1830's he began to conduct group confirmation ceremonies for graduates, which also included examinations in the form of catechism. The school very quickly earned a reputation even outside Heidelberg and began to attract students from surrounding towns and villages, employing two teachers. Until its closure in 1876, numbered among its teachers were Leopold Bessel (d.1861) and the teacher, Ortlieb. Among the religious teachers who served the area after the closure of the school were Meir Kahn (1854-1900), and Samuel Müller (b.1865), one of the leading teachers and educators of the Jews of Baden who also wrote school books for children and books on morals for adults. Apart from the Burial Society, which had been founded at the beginning of the 18th. Century, there were several other organizations and societies functioning in Heidelberg, such as The Women's Society (founded in 1825), The Benevolent Society, The Society for the Assistance of Transient Jews Requiring Help, and others. In 1884 the first Bnei Brith chapter in Baden was opened in Heidelberg and called The Friedrich Office named in honour of Friedrich Logge.
The first Jewish student, registered in 1724 in the Faculty of Medicine, was Seligman Elkan Bachrach of Mannheim, whose father was personal physician to Count Karl Ludwig, Elector of the Pfalz. In the same year his close relative, Hyman Avraham Bachrach was also registered in the same Faculty. Both of them were qualified as doctors in 1728. With his request to sit for his final examination, Seligman Elkan Bachrach was compelled to bow to precedent - the granting of the degree Doctor of Medicine to Jews of Ladenburg under the auspices of the University of Heidelberg. From then until 1807, 20 Jews from different parts of Germany completed their medical studies. One of them, Jakob David Kahnstat, born in Worms, settled in Heidelberg and practised as a doctor. The first Jewish student from Heidelberg itself was Gideon Yehezkiel (Seckel), who registered for the Faculty of Medicine in 1785.
As the 19th. Century progressed, the number of students at Heidelberg University increased. Not a few of them excelled conspicuously in their studies and won prizes. Thus, for example, in 1840 the first prize in the Faculty of Law was granted to Alexander Friedlander, the nephew of the Chief Rabbi of Westphalia and the first Jew who was chosen, later - in 1842, as a lecturer. In 1844, his younger brother won the first prize for his research into Jewish theology. In 1850 the first prize was granted to Josef Geissmeir of Sinsheim for his research work in the Faculty of Law. In 1855, Solomon Moss from the town of Randegg, won a gold medal for research work in the Faculty of Medicine and later he was appointed lecturer in Aural Medicine. In 1877 Elias Spiegel, of Tauberbischofsheim, won the first prize from the Faculty of Law.
Between the years 1869-1893, the number of Jewish students in the University of Heidelberg was as follows:
1869 - 1873: 20Among the Jewish students were many from Tsarist Russia, where the gates of the institutions of higher learning were closed to Jews. A few of them were scholars of note in the sciences and humanities and many of them innovators in the field of medicine. Among the many who studied at Heidelberg University were the German-Jewish writer, Berthold Auerbuch, the writer Shaul Tschernikowsky and the Zionist historian Josef Klausner.
1874 - 1878: 27
1879 - 1883: 52
1884 - 1888: 67
1889 - 1893: 63
The acceptance and assimilation of Jews as lecturers and research workers to the staff of the University involved a hard struggle with prejudice and more than once they had to change their religion for the sake of academic advancement. Thus, for example the Jurist, Sigmund Wilhelm Zimmern (b.1796), was appointed associate Professor in 1820, converted to Christianity in 1821 and was appointed full Professor. In 1836 the Orientalist, Gustav Weill (1808-1889), a member of the Sulzburg community, worked as a librarian and associate lecturer in 1845 and only after a 16-year fight was his candidacy as full professor in Oriental studies and Semitic languages confirmed. From 1844-1852 the senior lecturer in Anatomy was Jacob Henle (1809-1885). In 1866, four Jews were appointed full lecturers, among them the Jurist, Levine-Goldschmidt (1897). In 1890 Georg Yellinek (1851-1911), son of the distinguished Jewish preacher, Adolf Yellinek of Vienna, began his scientific career in the Faculty of Law and Political Science. His main work, Allgemeine Staatslehre, went to several editions (1900, 1914 and 1929). At first, Yellinek was Professor of Law at Vienna and Basel and from 1891 until 1911 he occupied the Chair of International Law at Heidelberg.
Two Jewish Professors achieved prominent standing in the Faculty of Mathematics - Lazarus Fuchs (1833-1902) and Leo Königsberger (d.1921). In 1878 Herman Tzvi Shapira (1840-1898), a native of Lithuania, eventually one of the leaders of the Lovers of Zion movement and later Zionist philosopher and pioneer of the German Zionist Movement, arrived in Heidelberg. He completed his studies in mathematics with distinction and wrote several books in the field. In 1887 he was appointed associate Professor in Mathematics at the University. In 1884 he founded in Heidelberg Zion the Jewish students' society for the re-settlement of the Land of Israel, (disbanded during the 1890's). He was an active participant in the first Zionist Congress (1897) and a leading proponent for the establishment of a Hebrew University in Palestine and the Jewish National Fund. He published his Zionist ideas in Ha-Melitz - (The Advocate) - and also wrote various articles on the subject of Zionism (published in 1925 under the editorship of Ben-Zion Dinur). After the First Zionist Congress, he worked to spread Zionism in Germany and was also active in the Jewish students' society in Heidelberg - Plain Speaking - for the revival of the Hebrew language. From 1888-1933 the noted mineralogist, Victor Goldschmidt (1853-1933), taught in the University of Heidelberg. His collection of crystals earned an international reputation.
During the last quarter of the 19th Century, a new tide of anti-Semitism swept through sectors of the University in the wake of the general flood which engulfed Germany at that period. In 1880 the national students societies requested permission from local government authorities to engage in various anti-Semitic activities but were refused. At the end of the century, the Jewish Students Society was founded to combat anti-Semitism. In 1890 the Jewish students in Heidelberg founded a society which they called Badenia - one of only three Jewish student societies in the whole of Germany at that time. In 1895, five years after being founded, a conference was held in Heidelberg attended by delegates from the three societies. The Badenia society tried to create for itself the status of leader of an alliance of student unions in Germany and the representative of their aims. This attempt on their part produced a conflict between the Badenia and the National Students' Societies. In 1902 the University Senate ordered the disbanding of the society on the grounds that the argument was a threat to public order. In July 1907 a group of conservative Jewish students formed the Union of Jewish Academicians which took as a banner Torah and Good Behaviour. During the academic year 1912/13 the society ran a Talmud study course under the tutelage of a Yeshiva graduate from Kovno named Rivikov. Members of the Heidelberg and other surrounding communities also took part in the activities of the Society. In 1911 a society of Zionist students was formed in Heidelberg under the name of Ivriah which soon joined the National Alliance of Zionist Students in Germany.
From time to time Jewish students were injured as a result of physical attacks by their German counterparts. In 1931 the national students held a demonstration in the city streets and with the help of Nazi propagandists attacked any passer-by who appeared to be Jewish. Only when the police intervened was order restored. In February 1932 all the factions in the City Council voted for the enactment of a law forbidding Jewish ritual slaughter of animals. The law came into force a few weeks later.
In May 1919 the Jewish youth society, known as Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Jüdischen Jugend was founded, under the leadership of Alphonse Schenman, Kurt Goldscheider and the State Attorney Hugo Markus (b.1892), with the aim of educating and increasing the awareness of young Jews to their Jewishness through the study of their roots. In June 1920 a national conference of Jewish teachers of Baden was held in Heidelberg and in June 1921 a society was formed for the relief and assistance of itinerant Jews, hospitalized in local hospitals. In June 1922 there was a conference in Heidelberg of The World-Jewish Relief Organization which concerned itself with the re-habilitation of war injured.
The Zionist branch, which was founded by students from Russia immediately after the First Zionist Congress (1897), developed far-reaching cultural and information orientated activities in the Heidelberg and other communities of the State of Baden Württemberg. In 1923, as the Zionist Conference approached, the number of holders of the Zionist Shekel reached 120.
During the winter semester of 1918/19 Nahum Goldman (1895-1982), already one of the leaders of Zionist students, studied at the Heidelberg University. In January 1919, one week before the German National elections, Goldman published a proclamation calling on a boycott of the elections and ...to leave Germany to the Germans. The Jews of Heidelberg, who saw in this proclamation a danger to their status, invited two speakers to argue the point with Goldman in public debate. Goldman, showing great ability, easily won the debate. 46 years later Hugo Markus, one of the invited speakers, admitted in his memoirs (published 1965), that ......History has justified Goldman's point of view.
At the end of 1926 a local society for the fight against anti-Semitism was founded on the initiative of the leaders of the community, led by Rabbi Pinkus. Non-Jewish professors from the University joined the society, among them the Protestant pastor Hermann Maas who, from the days of the Second Zionist Congress (1898), had been an ardent supporter of the Zionist movement and was a holder of the Zionist Shekel (membership badge), (see below).
In 1927, the community opened a public library that established itself on a collection of books on Jewish studies in Hebrew, a gift from the heirs of the Jewish professor of law, E. Lesser.
In 1932, with the retirement of Rabbi Pinkus, his nephew, Fritz Pinkus, was appointed in his place as local and regional Rabbi. Rabbi Fritz Pinkus instituted classes in Jewish studies and Hebrew for youth and young adults in cooperation with the Jewish Students Union. He also founded the Youth Quorum. From 1913 the head of the community was Ernst Kaluver. The attorney, Theodore Kaufmann (1864-1936), functioned for many years (from 1905), as a member of the Upper Council, in addition to his activities as a member of the community council (from 1908), the City Council and the Heidelberg Chamber of Commerce.
Already in 1923 the various charitable institutions had united to form one assistance and welfare organization which was affiliated to the central Welfare Office in Karlsruhe. Most of the national organizations of German Jews had local branch offices: The Central Union, The Soldiers' Front Covenant, the Zionist Federation, The Society for Guarding the Interests of Orthodox Jews, the Union of Jewish Youth in Germany and the pioneering youth movements (The Young Guard, The Builders and The Pioneer). At the head of the Community Committee of 7 members, who were elected from among the 28 members of the full council, stood the lawyer Theodor Kaufmann. Those elected to the Committee and its institutions in August 1933, were chosen from a list prepared and agreed upon in advance, by all the different factions involved - Liberal, Orthodox and Zionist. The budget of the community in 1930 reached 51,800 Marks and in 1931 48,698 Marks, out of which 9,690 were earmarked for welfare needs. 175 pupils studied in religious classes under the cantor/teachers Julius Kremer and Jakob Raphael. High school students were taught by Rabbi Pinkus.
The influence of the Jews in the various branches of the economy was considerable. they commanded factories like the Baden Furniture Factory, several cigarette factories (among them that of the Flegenheimers which employed 230 workers) and large wholesale businesses.
On 7th April 1933, The Law for the Return of Control of the Professions to Their Origins was put into effect, in order to remove Jewish academics - scientists, lecturers, doctors, lawyers and others. 47 professors were dismissed from the University - among them 34 Jews, 6 who were married to Jewish women, 4 who were children of mixed-marriages and 3 non-Jews who protested against the regime. According to another source the extent of the purge in the University was 60 professors and lecturers (approximately a quarter of the total staff of 247 professors and lecturers).
Many of the Jewish academicians who were forced from their positions and emigrated were those with international reputations, like the lung disease specialist Albert Frenkel (1864-1938), who directed two hospitals for the tubercular sick; the jurists Walter Yellinek (1885-1955), the son of the jurist Georg Yellinek, and Ernst Loewy (b.1881); the mathematician Artur Rosenthal (1887-1959); the serologist Alfred Clupfstock (1896-1968) whose wife was Jewish and who emigrated to Palestine where he was welcomed as a researcher and lecturer at the Hebrew University; the orthopoedist Hans Ritter von Bayer, Nobel prize winner; the historian Eugen Toibler (1879-1953) who emigrated to the United States and was a lecturer and researcher at the Hebrew College, Cincinnati; the physiologist and Nobel prize winner Otto Meyerhoff (1884-1951); and many others. With the non-Jewish professors who were removed may be mentioned the distinguished philosopher Karl Jaspers (1883-1969) whose wife was Jewish, the socialist jurist Gustav Radbruch (1878-1949) and the sociologist-economist Alfred Weber (1868-1958) who was known for his liberal views.
In the field of economics, too, many edicts were enacted against the Jews, one after the other. In April 1935 Jewish cattle merchants were removed from the municipal market place and in February the Nazis commenced the Aryanization of Jewish business houses and factories, a process that was completed by the end of 1938.
There were already several cases of suicide in the early days of the Nazi regime in the wake of the economic confiscations, dismissals of senior civil servants, lawyers and judges of Jewish extraction and social ostracism. On Confiscation Day (1st. April, 1933) a young attorney killed himself after the Nazis had stuck a notice on his parents' door forbidding Germans to use his father's clinic. On the 12th September in the same year, an elderly senior civil servant in the Ministry of the Interior, aged 68, drowned himself in the Neckar after having been forced from his job.
In November 1933, the German citizenship of a Polish-born Jew, who had been a resident of Heidelberg since 1906 and a pilot in the First World War, was revoked. Two Jews were imprisoned after being accused of insulting the Nazi Workers' Front and of having relations with a young Aryan; one of them was sentenced to hard labour at Kisslau camp. On the night of 10th.-11th. of May, in the square facing the University, books by Jewish authors were ceremoniously burned.
In 1933 four Jewish students organizations existed: Bavaria - having a liberal character, Ivria and the Union of Jewish Women Students representing the Zionist sector and the Society of Jewish Academicians for the Orthodox. On the 29th. April, 1933, a platoon of the SA forced their way into the offices of Bavaria and confiscated the archives and the cash reserves on the pretext of ..protecting the property from attacks by the Nazis. Two German liberal students unions were disbanded for refusing to remove members of Jewish extraction.
On the 25th. April, 1933, the introduction of the Numerus Clausus affected many of the 180 Jewish students in the University (4.8% of the total student number). By the winter semester of 1933/34 the number of Jewish students had already gone down to 75 (2.2%) and in the summer semester of 1935 only one Jewish student remained in the University. 24 non-Aryan students who were still studying in the University during the summer semester of 1937 were children of mixed-marriages who had been granted special permission to complete their studies.
During the academic year 1937/38, 56 pupils studied at the school, of them 42 were local, the other 14 coming from surrounding villages. The teacher in charge was Hermann Druhlacher who was assisted by a second full-time teacher.
The activities of the labour exchange department of the Jewish Youth Union, which concerned itself with professional placement became, during this period, more and more essential as the situation worsened from year to year. The removal of Jews from so many areas within the employment market raised the number of those requiring assistance to unheard-of levels. In 1935 more than 25% of the budget was used for community relief.
One of the ways in which the change in the state of mind of the Heidelberg Jews expressed itself, was in the broadening of the activities of the local Zionist office, which now included Jews from sectors previously considered to be assimilated. In 1936 the branch membership reached 116. At the head of the Zionist activists in Heidelberg and the surrounding village communities, stood Herbert and Lilie Grossberg who, until their emigration to Palestine in February 1939, coordinated all the various collections and donations of money for the community funds. 1936 proved to be a productive year for social and cultural events, especially so in the opening of the Beth-Hamidrash (Lehrhaus) and a branch of The Cultural Guild of Jews in Germany.
In August of the same year, the regional Rabbi Pinkus emigrated with his family to Brazil and in his place Rabbi Ulrich Stoyer, head of the Beth-Hamidrash, who was also active in the surrounding communities, was appointed. In April 1937 the independent, suburban community of Rohrbach, numbering 30 souls, was annexed to the community of Heidelberg. In the same year, repairs and improvements were still being made to the synagogue. In September of 1938, a Zionist congress was held, attended by 100 delegates of the communities in Baden-Württemberg. Present at the conference was Paul Epstein, representing the National Union. That same month Rabbi Stoyer and his family emigrated to the United States of America and in his place Rabbi Hans Sucker was appointed who, until then, had been employed as a teacher in the Philanthropic school in Frankfurt.
Later the rioters turned their attention to private houses, using a list which had been prepared in advance. Especially chosen were those apartments where the owner also maintained a shop on the same premises. The homes were broken into, the bedding and furniture ripped, cut and otherwise destroyed and, together with other household items, thrown through the windows onto the street with the help of pupils from the school, who at that point had joined the rioters. At the same time other business establishments were broken into, the stock partially vandalized and thrown out into the street where passers-by took whatever they wished. Among the property destroyed was an entire private collection of paintings and other objets d'art. In the middle of the uproar and confusion a Jewish woman went looking for her small son, fearing for his safety and was trampled on by the mob. Immediately after the riots, the Jews were forced to clean the streets of all the wreckage - the broken glass, other articles and the feathers from the ripped bedding. All the Jewish men were arrested and 150 of them were sent to Dachau from where some were released after a few weeks, some only after a few months. One of them was released only when he became ill with pneumonia from which he later died.
All the participants in the riots - SA and SS, as well as the private non-uniformed citizens who took part - received absentee permission from their place of work in order to take part in what was described as ....an operation against the enemies of the State.
Eight days after Kristallnacht the students brought the religious artifacts and the Scrolls of the Law, which had been in the custody of the police, to the University square where they were ceremoniously burnt.
The community was required to make good all the damage to the synagogue, at its own expense.
According to the census of May 1939 there were 515 Racially defined Jews residing in Heidelberg, of whom 447 were Jews by virtue of their Religion and 68 were converts; apart from these there were in town 92 Mischlings in category 'A' and 48 in category 'B'.
Kristallnacht the final stages of the Aryanization of business establishments were completed, the industrial plants and similarly the homes and other assets still remaining in the hands of the Jews were confiscated. Of all the edicts laid upon the Jews the only one that was cancelled was the one concerning the opening of grocery stores - and that for technical reasons only.
According to one source, a further 58 Jews, originally from Heidelberg and who had moved to other places in the Baden Pfalz during the years 1933 to 1939, are to be added to the original 281. Yet another source puts the number at 40 people. Among those deported from Heidelberg to Guers was the poet Alfred Mombert (1872-1942). He was released from Guers because of his poor health through the efforts of non-Jewish intellectuals and emigrated to Switzerland, where he died only a short time later. While in the camp, he completed his last work, 'Sfira der Alte', which was only published in its completed form in 1958. Also among those deported to Guers was the pediatrician Dr. Joanna Geissmar (1877-1942), who was instrumental in creating a medical service in the camp and was noted for her dedicated treatment of the sick children. In August 1942, she voluntarily joined a transport to Auschwitz, where she was killed.
After the deportation to Guers, about 80 Jews, most of them old and sick, remained in Heidelberg and its surroundings. These Jews were concentrated in a ghetto. Apart from them were a further 31 Jews who were married to Aryan partners. On the 22nd August 1942, 11 Heidelberg Jews were deported to Theresienstadt among them Dr. Josef Reiss, an invalid of the First World War and the possessor of medals for bravery. Together with him went his aged mother.
On the 14th February 1945 another 22 Jews, partners in mixed marriages were sent to Theresienstadt. 9 Jews remained in Heidelberg throughout the war.
In 1933 there were 1,102 Jews by Religious Definition in Heidelberg and 138 Christians of Jewish extraction - (Jews by Racial Definition). During the Nazi period 20 Jewish children were born and an unknown number of Jews joined the community from other places. 121 Jews died locally.
The total number of Jews deported directly from Heidelberg, including those from other places who were in Heidelberg temporarily, reached 406 souls.
The number of the members of the community - residents of the city in 1933 and their children - who were deprived of their lives as a direct result of Nazi persecution, was 326. Most of them died in the camps. A few emigrated to countries which were later themselves conquered by the Nazis (Holland, Hungary) and were deported from there. 13 people committed suicide during the Nazi period. Among them the gynaecologist Dr. Maximillian Noy (b.1877) and his wife Louisa (b.1885) who killed themselves on the day of the deportation to Guers; several widows of University professors, including the widow of the distinguished mineralogist Victor Goldschmidt and his right hand in his scientific work, Leontina Goldschmidt (1863-1942); the ex-Magistrate, Guido Leser (b.1883) and his wife Irmgard (b.1883), who both committed suicide in Berlin the evening prior to being sent to Theresienstadt; and others.
In 1962 Peter Nathan Levinson was elected Rabbi of the Baden Jews and in 1973 Abraham Abromovich was appointed in place of Cantor Fierhrer. In 1974, there were 150 Jews resident in Heidelberg of whom 50% were students and children.
Today the various municipal organs make strenuous efforts to perpetuate the memory of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust and cultivate strong ties with both local and ex-resident Jews now living abroad. A branch of the Society of Christians and Jews has been established whose aims are to develop friendly relationships and understanding between Christians and Jews. In 1980, on the 40th anniversary of the Kristallnacht the Municipality organized a memorial service to which were invited distinguished ex-members of the Jewish community who had emigrated, among them Rabbi Fritz Pinkus, who came especially from the United States, and other senior civic personalities. On the original site of the destroyed synagogue a memorial plaque was placed and nearby a symbolic stone representing the destruction and its rebirth. The Municipality created a well cared for garden on the site of the old Jewish cemetery and renovated the new cemetery (from 1876). In October 1978, this cemetery was desecrated by unknown persons.
In January 1979 the Central Council for German Jews - (Zentralrat der deutschen Juden) - began the Heidelberg Programme: the opening of the Higher Institute for Jewish Theology for the preparation and training of Rabbis, Cantors, social workers and managerial-level community workers for Jewish Communities in German-speaking European countries. The Institute is open to non-Jewish students who are interested in obtaining a Jewish education.
The Institute has at its disposal lecture theatres, students' residential facilities, a prayer hall and library. The Institute is jointly financed by the Central Council, the Municipality of Heidelberg and the State Government of Baden-Württemberg.
Yad Vashem Archives:03/2381.- 08/33, pp 11, 13 22-27, 28.- M-1/L-1/166; M-1/P-2/123.- TR/10/ 176.- PKG/Heidelberg/1962; PKG/Q/486.-
MicrofilmBD-23/Gestapo, r. 5, f. 26a, r. 6, f. 26b.-
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idem: Politischer Rückblick (ms.); Neckargmünd, 1946.
Mugdan, Luise: Jüdische Lehrkräfte an der Universität Heidelberg (ms.); Heidelberg, 1966.
Rieger, Paul: Deutsche Juden als Heidelberger Studenten im 18. Jahrhundert. Festschrift zum siebzigsten Geburstag Martin Philipsons. Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Juden, Leipzig, 1916, pp. 178-183.
Rosenthal, Berthold: Die jüdischen Volksschulen in Baden. Gedenkbuch zum 125 Jährigen Bestehen des oberrats der Israeliten in Baden. Frankfurt a.M., 1934.
idem: Jüdisches aus den Akten der Heidelberger Universtät. Eine Quellenstudie (ms.); np., nd.
Sachs, Arnold: In Heidelberg vor 155 Jahren (Zur Geschichte der ersten akademischen Verbindung Zion); JR, 18.6.1937.
Den Unvergessenen Opfer des Wahns 1933-1945. Heidelberg, 1952.
Zivier, E.: Eine archivalische Informationsreise. MGWJ, vol.49 (1905) pp. 224-225.
Newspapers:AWZ, 1.2.1952, 15.8.1952, 3.10.1952, 19.6.1953, 19.3.1954, 1.7.1955, 31.5.1957, 28.3.1958, 17.4.1959, 24.4.1959, 23.10.1959, 20.11.1959, 20.1.1961, 29.9.1961, 9.3.1962, 22.6.1962, 21.12.1962, 21.8.1964, 25.11.1966, 23.2.1968.
AZJ, 24.5.1838, 25.12.1838, 6.7.1839, 18.4.1840, 26.6.1841, 2.4.1842, 24.8.1842, 2.9.1844, 9.12.1944, 13.1.1845, 19.5.1845, 25.8.1845, 8.6.1846, 17.4.1866, 6.7.1869, 3.5.1870, 16.4.1872, 16.12.1884, 3.5.1895, 23.8.1895, 21.7.1899, 27.4.1900, 4.9.1903, 5.6.1914, 2.5.1919.
CV, 26.7.1929, 4.4.1930, 11.7.1930, 17.7.1931, 31.7.1931, 25.7.1936, 1.4.1937, 23.12.1937.
Deutschland Berichte, Bonn, Oktober 1978.
FSch. Oktober 1967, April 1971.
GZ, 1.12.1926, 1.10.1929, 1.12.1932.
IFB, 6.1.1921, 7.7.1921, 20.7.1922, 7.6.1923, 14.6.1923, 19.7.1923, 23.12.1926, 26.9.1929, 21.5.1931, 18.6.1931, 18.2.1932, 20.4.1932, 19.5.1932, 7.8.1932, 3.11.1932, 30.3.1933, 11.5.1933, 24.5.1933, 22.3.1934, 6.12.1934, 25.6.1936, 3.9.1936, 13.10.1938.
IGB, 18.3.1936, 22.4.1936, 6.5.1936, 24.6.1936, 24.7.1936, 28.8.1936, 7.10.1936, 6.1.1937, 14.7.1937, 21.10.1937, 7.10.1938, 21.10.1938, 3.11.1938.
Isr, 13.4.1864, 3.8.1864, 20.9.1866, 12.1.1880, 30.1.1880, 30.8.1886, 3.11.1887, 29.4.1895, 12.5.1898, 9.1.1902, 14.5.1908, 12.4.1911, 11.9.1912, 4.12.1919, 7.6.1928, 31.7.1930, 29.1.1931, 14.4.1932, 16.11.1933, 7.6.1934, 11.3.1937, 18.3.1937.
JCh, 5.5.1933, 2.6.1933, 22.9.1933, 10.11.1933, 17.11.1933, 2.2.1934, 22.6.1934, 26.4.1935, 28.6.1935, 19.7.1935, 9.8.1935, 7.2.1936, 24.8.1936, 9.4.1937, 23.4.1937, 11.3.1938.
JP, 15.5.1884, 25.1.1892, 15.12.1892, 8.8.1901, 1.10.1902, 8.7.1907.
JR, 8.2.1924, 3.7.1925, 6.12.1927, 12.11.1933, 12.12.1933, 18.6.1937.
MO, April 1962, April 1963, November 1963, Januar 1964, Februar 1964, März 1964, April 1964, Mai 1964, Januar 1965, Januar 1966, April 1966, November 1966, Dezember 1966, November 1974.
Der Orient, 26.6.1841, 26.3.1842, 19.11.1844, 8.1.1845, 30.7.1846, 6.7.1850.
Bracha Freundlich, Chasia Turtal-Abrazhanska (dec.).
Yad Vashem - Jerusalem
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