Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities:
Germany volume 1

49°54' 9°40'

Translation from Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1972




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to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities, Germany
Volume 1, pages 398-399, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1972

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[Page 398]

Urspringen, Germany

It is a village in the region of Marktheidenfeld

(In Jewish sources: Irspringi, Irspringen)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Donated by Michael Schornstein



Year Population Jewish
In percentage
1803/4 - 20
1815 1,123 185
1837 1,060 220 20.8
1867 1,030 213 20.7
1880 1,062 194 18.3
1900 1,020 154 15.1
1910 991 111 11.2
1925 943 86 9.1
1933 992 78 7.9
1937 - 71  
1939 973 56 5.8
Feb 7, 1942 -- 44  
Apr 24, 1942 -- 2  
Nov 1, 1942 -- 2  


Religious Affiliation by Percentage in 1933

Jews 7.9
Catholics 90.2
Protestants 1.9


History of the Community

The first Jews settled in Urspringen at the beginning of the 17th century, at the time that Jewish communities were being established in the estates of the Lower Frankonian noblemen by Jews who were deported by the diocese of Würzburg. The communities that were founded were dependent on the authority of the “State Rabbinate” of Würzburg.

The memorial book of the community of Urspringen is from 1834, but the only part that remains is the part that was written 200 years previously.

The synagogue was built in 1803 on the location of the previous synagogue. Old Torah belts remain there, one from 1685.

A Jewish public school, in which tens of children studied at the end of the 19th century, declined in numbers progressively in the wake of the gradual shrinkage of the community, and was closed in 1918. From that time, only daily classes in Holy subjects were given in it. The prayer leader and rabbinical teacher of the community, Simon Kissinger, was the spiritual leader of the Jews of Urspringen for more than 50 years, until the eve of the Holocaust. A chapter of the Jewish National Fund operated there.


Under Nazi Rule (1933-1938)

In 1933, the community of Urspringen was dependent on the community of the Würzburg district. It owned a synagogue, which was renovated in 1932, a mikva (ritual bath), and a school.

During the 1932/33 study year, classes in the Jewish Religion were given to 12 children. The Jews of Urspringen buried their dead in the district cemetery in Laudenbach (see entry) as well as in the nearby cemetery of Karbach (see entry).

The communal budget was 2.718 mark in 1930. Of this, 1,759 mark were dedicated to religious needs, 919 mark were dedicated to educational needs, and the rest to assistance.

In 1937, the community was dependent on the rabbinate of the district of Aschaffenburg. That year, more than half of the local Jews required assistance.

Not one Jew left Urspringen from the time of the ascension of the Nazis to power until 1935. Thirteen Jews left Urspringen from March 1935 until the disturbances of November 1938. Of them, three made aliya to the Land of Israel and three immigrated to the United States. The rest went to other places in Germany.


The Process of Liquidation of the Community

Year Number
who left
Emigrated Deported
1935 1 2  
1936 1    
1937 3 2  
1938 6 2  
1939 9    
1940 1    
April 25 1942 *     42
Total 21 6 42

* See further on.


The Holocaust

The Jews of Urspringen suffered from persecution and torment even before the disturbances of November 1, 1938. According to an announcement by the Gestapo in Würzburg on October 24, 1938, all the windows of the houses of four local Jews were broken on September 29. Members of the S.A., the vast majority of whom were residents of Urspringen, participated in the disturbances that broke out on the afternoon of November 10 and continued until midnight. Under instruction from the local teacher, they broke into Jewish homes and wreaked havoc. It is known that at least six of the disturbers stole Jewish property, as became clear from an investigation by the Würzburg Gestapo. All of the windows were broken, furniture was destroyed, and belongings and household utensils were tossed outside. The ruffians did not refrain from deeds of destruction even in the house where the body of a dead Jewish woman was lying. It was only with great efforts that the Jews of Urspringen later succeeded in bringing her to burial. The ruffians broke into the synagogue and tossed all the Torah Scrolls outside, which spread open along the street. Other holy objects were brought to the district office of the Nazi Party of Marktheidenfeld. All of the Jewish men, aside from several elderly men, were imprisoned and brought to the jail in Lohr a Main. Most of them were freed after a few days, and the rest were deported to the Dachau Concentration Camp. After the disturbances, the Jews of Urspringen were ordered by the local teacher to move into small houses in the village. Their houses and the rest of their real estate were confiscated, and the mikva was turned into a bathhouse for the local Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend). Four Jews left Urspringen during December 1938 and moved to other places in Germany. In 1939, nine Jews of the village left, five of whom went to Frankfurt a Main.

There were still 44 Jews living in Urspringen in February 1942. The community

[Page 399]

was liquidated in April 23 of that year, when the last 42 Jews of Urspringen were transferred to Würzburg, from where they were deported to Izbica in the region of Lublin on the 2tth of that month. We have no information on the fate of the last two Jews of Urspringen who remained on November 1, 1942.

Not one Jew returned after the war.

The buildings of the synagogue and Jewish school were only damaged slightly, and they remained until the end of the war. However, all the utensils, furnishings, and holy objects were destroyed.

Today, there are no Jews in Urspringen.

The Central Archives for the History of the Jewish Nation: Inv/486/3:196.== N/19/96.-- R/3-43, vol 1, pp. 13, 15, 277-79, 283-91, 302-17, 320, 322-33, 357; vol. 2, pp. 426-30, 573,-- WR/128a; 446c; 487a, f. 18b.—
Yad Vashem Archives: JSRO/Bayern p. 11 (Urspringen).—O-4/20/11-55 (Landgericht Würzburg: KLs 85/48).—O-42 (Brückheimer, Simon: Der 10, November 1938. MS., p. 25).—PKG/Q/403.—PKG/8.3/Urspringen/1961.—
Microfilms: BD/23—Gestapo, r. 3, f. 11, pp. 43-45; f.13, pp. 95-97; r. 4 f. 13a pp. 153, 174, 184-85.—JM/1700, r. 3:11; r.5:105.—JM/2709, r. 2:644-45, 875-77, 1084-86; r. 3:1169, 1178, 1224, 1232, 1264, 1320, 1335, 1337, 1341-42, 1344, 1351-52, 1457, 1561-65.—JM/2858, r. 5:360.—JM/2864:2335.—



Weinberg, M.: Die Memorbücher der jüd. Gem. In Bayern, pp. 64, 104-9.--

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