Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities:
Germany volume 1

50°12' / 09°58'

Translation from Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1972



Project Coordinator

Bert Distelburger


Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem for permission
to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities, Germany
Volume 1, pages 388-389, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1972

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[Page 388]

Oberthulba, Germany

Town in the district of Hammelburg

Translated by Jerrold Landau



Year No of
of them
1816 673 31 4.8
1837 940 36 3.8
1867 847 57 6.7
1871 849 64 7.5
1910 908 55 6.1
1933 821 44 5.4
May 31, 1936 -- 38  
May 21, 1937 -- 31  
1939 746 23 3.1
February 7, 1942 -- 12  
March 31, 1942 -- 11  

Religious Affiliation by Percentage in 1933
Jews: 5.4
Catholics 94.6

Under Nazi Rule (1933-1938)

In 1933, the community of Oberthulba was subordinate to the rabbinate of the Kissigen district. A synagogue (its building was modified in 1874, and renovated in 1931), a school building with a residence for the teacher, and a ritual bath (mikva) were under its jurisdiction. During the 1932-33 school year, classes in religious subjects were given to two students.

The communal budget in 1930 was 1,248 marks. The deceased of the community

[Page 389]

were brought to burial in the regional Jewish cemetery in Pfaffenhausen (see entry), in the district of Hammelburg. The communal ledger, which was kept in the communal office, has entries starting from 1869.

In 1933, there were five merchants (three of whom were animal dealers) and one farmer among the Jews of Oberthulba. The community already found itself in difficult economic straits by the end of 1934, and was even forced to request the assistance of the Union of Jewish Communities of Bavaria in order to pay the transportation fees of the teacher who came to teach the local students. At the end of December, 1936, the Jewish cattle dealers of Oberthulba were no longer permitted to transact business with the local farmers. One was attacked and stabbed while he was away on business, and had to be transferred to the hospital in Würzburg.

Most of the Jews of Oberthulba also earned livelihood from businesses that supported the agricultural sector. In the spring of 1937, a group of religious pioneers were sent there from the hachshara kibbutz of Altona-Blankenese, which was organized into the “Covenant of Religious Pioneers” (BCh”D). In May 1937, the community numbered 31 souls, including one family that required support.

In August, 1938, the community conducted negotiations with the Union of Communities of Bavaria regarding its official liquidation and transfer of assets to the union. At that time, public prayer services still took place in Oberthulba, with the financial assistance of the district rabbinate. In its efforts to provide Jewish and business education to its children, the community was transported four children to Geroda during the 1938-1939 school year, along with students of the communities of Völkersleier (see entry), where the teacher Kahn took it upon himself to teach them three times a week.

The Jewish cemetery of Pfaffenhausen (see entry) was closed in July 1938 by order of the authorities, under the pretext that it was polluting the civic water conduit that passed nearby. The Jews of Oberthulba were forced to bury their dead in the community of Geroda (see entry).

The Process of Liquidation of the Community

Year Left Emigrated Deported %
1936   3  
1937   2  
1938 1 3  
1939   2  
1940   5  
April 25 1942 *     11
September 23, 1942 *     1
Total 1 15 12

* See further on.

The Holocaust

During the evening hours of November 10, 1938, hooligans broke the windows of all of the Jewish homes of Oberthulba. Then, they broke into the homes and destroyed the furniture and household utensils. They tossed the broken pieces of furniture and utensils onto the street. The hooligans broke the utensils, furnishings, and holy objects of the synagogue. They ripped and burnt the prayer books and holy books. The day after the attack, the local residents openly expressed their satisfaction with the violence and destruction, but they deplored the acts of pillage that took place during the disturbances. Four local Jews were imprisoned and taken to the Dachau Concentration Camp.

On November 28, 1940, the governor of the district of Hammelburg ordered searches of the four Jewish families who still remained in Oberthulba, apparently in order to expose foodstuffs under government supervision. These searches did not turn up anything.

From 1936 to 1940, 16 Jewish residents left Oberthulba. Thirteen of them immigrated to the United States, one to England, and one to South Africa. One woman moved to Frankfurt am Main. Four Jews of Oberthulba died there.

Twelve Jews remained in Oberthulba at the beginning of February, 1942. Eleven of them were transferred to Würzburg on April 22 of that year. They were deported from there on April 25 to Izbica in the region of Lublin. One old women of Oberthulba had been transported earlier, on March 30, to Würzburg, from where she was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto on September 1942. We have no information about the rest of the Jews of Oberthulba.

After the war, not even one Jew returned to Oberthulba. The synagogue and mikva buildings survived the war undamaged.

Today, there are no Jews in Oberthulba.

The Central Archives of the Jewish People

G/5/2391, -- Inv/486/3: 145,-- WR/15; 101a-3; 120; 132; 142; 148; 214.


HM/439, --

Yad Vashem Archives

JRSO/Bayern p. 35 (Oberwaldbehrungen), -- M-1/L-237, -- O-42 (Brückheimer, Simon: Der 10. November 1938. MS p. 7). – PKG/Q/120, -- PKG/S3/Oberwaldbehrungen/1962. –


JM/2709, r. 3: 1263, 1289, --


Hohn, KI.: Atlas von Bayern, Nürnberg, 1940 (Ufr.), p. 242.—
Ottenheimer, Hilde: The Disappearance of the Jewish Communities in Germany 1900-1938. Jewish Social Studies, New York, vol.3 (April 1941) no2, p. 203, --

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