“Breitenbach am Hertzberg”
Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities:
Germany volume 3


50°46' / 9°31'

Translation from Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1992

In memory of the Goldschmidt-Apt-Roth families



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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities, Germany
Volume 3, page 403, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1992

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[Page 403]

Breitenbach am Hertzberg, Germany
(in the Hersfeld-Rotenburg district)


Year Number of
of Jews
1835   24  
1861 983 54 5.5
1871 851 47 5.5
1885 802 55 6.9
1895 776 75 9.7
1905 774 80 10.3
1925 891 85 9.5
1933 922 75 8.0
1939 959 9 0.1


Religious Affiliation by Percentage in 1925

Jews Catholics Protestants Others
9.5 0.7 89.1 0.7


From the History of the Community

In 1744, 8 Jewish families settled in Breitenbach, and one young man was permitted to live next to his mother until his wedding. In 1776, there were five families.

In May of 1898 a Jewish elementary school was founded in Breitenbach, and in its first year 31 studied in it, some of them, apparently, from nearby settlements. The Jewish teacher also served as cantor and shochet (ritual slaughterer). At the turn of the 20th century, the community finally opened a cemetery (first burial in 1911).

A Jewish resident of Breitenbach died in the First World War.

On the eve of the Nazi ascent to power, there were under the community's authority a prayer-hall, a cemetery and a school. In it eight students learned under the teacher Berthold Katz from Berghaun (see entry). The head of the community was Solly Wertheim, and Solly Stern served as cantor and shochet. The community belonged to the rabbinical district of Marburg.

In the November 6, 1932 elections to the Reichstag, the Nazis received 48.5% of the residents' votes (41.2% in all of Hesse-Nassau).

In May 1933, a portion of land belonging to a local Jewish woman was sold to a worker. The owner of the property complained about the agreement in the district court in Marburg. The response was that “The law for restoration of German agriculture” did not apply to non-Aryan controlled property.

In 1935, the cemetery was desecrated. Most of the Jews left the village up to 1940. A few emigrated, but the majority went to other places in Germany. The teacher Stern went to the Jewish school in Abterode (see entry) in 1938. The seven last Jews were sent in 1940 to Frankfort. (Apparently these were elderly people who lived with their families.)

Today the Jewish cemetery (754 square meters) is under the village's authority.

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