PASSAU, city in Bavaria, Germany. Jews are mentioned in an early tenth-century local customs regulation (Raffelsteten). Documentary evidence for their presence in the city of Passau, however, dates only from 1210, when Bishop Mangold compensated the Jews of the city after they had been robbed. In 1206 they were released from paying customs and taxes in return for their aid in helping the bishop collect his tithes. They earned their livelihood in moneylending. A Judenstrasse is first mentioned in 1328, a synagogue in 1314, and a cemetery in 1418. (Before 1418 Jews were buried in Regensburg.) The Black *Death persecutions of 1349 caused considerable loss to the community, but Jews were again resident in Passau in 1390. In March 1478 a petty thief "confessed" to having stolen and sold the Host to Jews. On being tortured, 10 Jews confessed to having stabbed the Host and caused its blood to flow. All (including the witness) were sentenced to death. Concomitantly approximately 40 Jews accepted Christianity while the rest were expelled; the synagogue and Jewish homes were demolished. A church erected on the site became the object of pilgrimages. Small numbers of Jews were permitted to reside in Passau in later centuries. The Jewish settlement reached 73 in 1910; 48 in 1932; and 40 in 1933, and was affiliated with the Straubing community. In 1968 there were 13 Jews recorded as residents of Passau.
Germania Judaica, 1 (1963), 266–7; 2 (1968), 647–8; M. Stern, in: Jeschurun, 15 (1928), 541–60, 647–76; W.M. Schmid, in: ZGJD, 1 (1929), 119–35; PK, Germanyah; M. Pfamholz, in: Festschrift fuer Lorenz Spindler (196?); J.R. Marcus, Jew in the Medieval World (1965), 155–8.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.