Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities:
Germany volume 3

50°24' / 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, pages 208-209, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1992

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[Page 208]

Wölfersheim, Germany
(a village in the region of Wetterau)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

YearNumber of
of Jews
1828 20 
1871 31 

Religious Affiliation by Percentage in the year 1933


The first evidence of a Jewish settlement in Wölfersheim is from the year 1700. There was a relatively large Jewish cemetery there, which was opened before 1800. The small community also maintained a prayer hall, but the local Jews primarily worshiped in nearby Echzell (see entry) during the 20th century due to the lack of a minyan.

The son of the final communal head Rosman fell during the First World War.

There were three Jewish families there on the eve of the ascent of the Nazis to power. One was the owner of a textile enterprise, a second the owner of an agricultural farm and factory for the production of agricultural products, and the third was a cattle trader and butcher. The community belonged to the rabbinate of Upper Hessen in Giessen (see entry) and was headed by the Rosman brothers. Kosher slaughter took place locally.

In the elections to the Landstag of June 19, 1932, the Nazis received 40.9% of the votes (in all of Hessen, they received 44%), and the Social Democrats obtained the majority at 43.5%. In the elections to the Reichstag of July 31, 1932, the Social Democrats received 46.4% and the Nazis 43.1% -- equivalent to what they obtained throughout Hessen.

By the autumn of 1938, 8 Jews left Wölfersheim. The two Rosman brothers remained there with their families. On the morning of November 10, 1938, the head of the Nazi cell in Wölfersheim commanded the local S.A. commander to enlist

[Page 209]

his men into action against the local Jews, and instructed him to smash the contents of the Jewish homes to smithereens and to beat the residents until they would be “half dead”. During the afternoon, the men of the S.A marched in procession in civilian clothing from their headquarters to the Jewish homes. Nazi party activists joined them along the way, some of them residents of Wölfersheim and others from outside. Those gathered together, numbering approximately 150, divided into two groups, each one going to one of the two homes of the Rosman family, which were located near each other. In the home of Herman Rosman they destroyed the furniture and household belongings, and beat the son of the home owner before the eyes of his young children until he lost consciousness. The father, who was at that time lying sick in bed, was not beaten. In the other home, the hooligans beat Julius Rosman cruelly. After approximately one hour, the men of the S.A. arranged themselves in a line and marched back to their headquarters, singing anti-Semitic songs. After the official activities concluded, actions of destruction and pillaging continued until the night. Any furniture that remained whole was destroyed, dishes were smashed, and accounting ledgers and documents owned by the Jews were set on fire by the head of the S.A., who returned to the place at night and smashed the remaining window panes in the Rosman family homes.

All of the Jews had left Wölfersheim by July 1939. From among the 15 Jews that lived in the village in June 1933, nine immigrated to the United States, one to the Land of Israel, one left Wölfersheim in 1935 to an unknown destination, and four moved to other cities in Germany. Kaufman Rosman and his two children were deported from Friedberg to Auschwitz.

In September 1948, eight of the Kristallnacht hooligans in Wölfersheim were judged in the regional court in Giessen and sentenced to periods of imprisonment ranging from three months to a year.

Today, the Jewish cemetery (1,765 square meters) is cared for by the local authorities.

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