STENDAL


STENDAL, city in Brandenburg, Germany. A Jewish community existed around the middle of the 13th century. The Jews of Stendal held a key position among those of Brandenburg and adjacent territories, and the tax problems and customs of the community had crystallized by the latter part of the century. In 1297 its members were granted the privilege of acquiring property, for which they had to pay a low rent; only Jews owning ten silver marks were to be admitted as burghers. The community's total tax of ten marks was to be divided between the margraves and the city. On its part the city had to protect the Jews against any interference by ducal officers. Jewish law was to be respected, but the Jewish *oath in front of the synagogue had to be taken in German. This privilege was upheld by the Magdeburg court in 1331. The community continued to develop, the Jews' Street being first mentioned in 1327. About 1350 the Jews suffered persecution, either in consequence of the civil war or in connection with the *Black Death. The burghers, however, were granted amnesty for the misdeeds committed against the Jews, as well as permission to readmit Jews under the previous conditions. In 1446 all the local Jews were imprisoned and subsequently expelled from Stendal (presumably on papal and royal orders), but in 1453–54 they were readmitted. In 1490, too, a few new Jewish settlers were admitted; but in 1520 all Jews were banished from Brandenburg, including Stendal.

However, Elector Joachim II (1535–71) favored settlement of Jews in Stendal. Therefore, by 1564 nine Jewish families had settled in the city, but they were expelled after his death. Only after 1847 did Jews resettle there. By 1849, there were 38 Jews living in Stendal; 49 in 1871; 104 in 1892; 85 in 1903; and 93 in 1905. They formed a small community that had a cantor-teacher. Their number declined to 60 by 1913 (0.22% of the total population) and to 34 in 1925 (0.11%). In 1933 there were 61 Jews; 23 in 1939; and three in 1942. No Jews lived in Stendal after 1945. In 1995 a commemorative plaque was consecrated to the former synagogue, which is now privately owned. The Jewish cemetery is preserved.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Germania Judaica, 2 (1968), 791–4; 3 (1987), 1410–13; I.A. Agus, Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg (1947), 502–5; Handbuch der Juedischen Gemeindeverwaltung (1913), 60; (1932–33), 115; Kisch, Germany, index; idem, Jewry Law in Medieval Germany (1949), 140–2; Baron, Social 2, 9 (1965), 211; 11 (1967), 14; W. Heise, Die Juden in der Mark Brandenburg bis zum Jahre 1571 (1932). ADD BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Brocke, E. Ruthenberg, and K. Schulenburg, Stein und Name (Veroeffentlichungen aus dem Institut Kirche und Judentum, vol. 22) (1994), 618–19; B. Bugaiski, I. Leubauer, and G. Waesche, Geschichte der Juedischen Gemeinden in Sachsen-Anhalt (1997), 250–4.

[Toni Oelsner]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.