GOTHA, city in Thuringia, Germany. Jews from Gotha are mentioned in *Cologne in 1250 and later in *Erfurt. Eight members of the community were killed in connection with a *blood libel in Weissensee in 1303. The community suffered during the *Black Death persecutions (1349) and again in 1391. Though the community disappeared after the persecutions of 1459–60, a mikveh (Judenbad) is mentioned in 1564 and 1614. Until 1848 no Jews were allowed to live in the duchy of Gotha but restricted trading was permitted. The community formed after 1848 increased from 95 in 1872/3, to 236 in 1880, and 372 in 1910 (0.9% of the total population). A synagogue was built in 1903. In 1932 the prosperous community of 350 members maintained a synagogue, school, cemetery, library, and six social and charitable organizations. On Nov. 10, 1938, the synagogue was burned down and 28 men of the community were sent to *Buchenwaldg. The 80 remaining Jews had been deported by 1939. The community was not reestablished after World War II.
Germ Jud 1, 118–19; 2, 295–96; FJW, 372; PK.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.