ULM, city in Wuerttemberg, Germany. The first documentary evidence of a community in Ulm dates from 1241, when a sum of six silver marks in taxes was paid by Jews. The first settlers undoubtedly arrived much earlier. An unbroken series of gravestones (dated from 1243 to 1491) from the cemetery, first mentioned in 1281, indicates the continued existence of
In the 15th century, Ulm grew in economic and political importance, while the Jewish community, oppressed by heavy taxation and regulations restricting their financial activities, declined. In 1457 Jewish noncitizens were expelled; in 1499 all Jews were given five months to leave the city. These acts were carried out under a policy known as Judenfreiheit ("freedom from Jewish settlement"), which was vigorously observed for two centuries. Only in 1712 were Jews even allowed to trade at the cattle market. In 1786 a single Jew possessing the right of residence was known to have resided in Ulm. During the wars of the 18th century, *Court Jews lived in the city.
From 13 in 1824 the community grew to a peak of 667 in 1886, and thereafter gradually declined. A synagogue was consecrated in 1873 and a cemetery in 1885. The community consisted mostly of prosperous merchants and manufacturers. Albert Mayer, a lawyer, was the first Jew elected to the Wuerttemberg parliament, serving from 1906 to 1909. Julius Baum, the museum director, and the artist L. Moos were two well-known residents of the community. The most famous Jew born in Ulm was Albert *Einstein. During the Nazi era, the population of the community declined from 530 in 1933 to 162 in August 1939, in part due to the boycott of Jewish business establishments and antisemitic harassment; the old cemetery was desecrated in 1936; the same year, Jewish children were no longer able to attend the public schools and a Jewish school was established in its place. On Nov. 10, 1938, the synagogue was burned down and many Jews were viciously beaten. Of 116 Jews deported from Ulm during World War II (45 were sent to *Theresienstadt on Aug. 22, 1942), only four returned. Approximately 25 Jews were living in Ulm in 1968. In 1958 a plaque was mounted to commemorate the former synagogue. In 1988 an additional memorial was erected. In 2002 a Jewish community was founded as a branch of the Jewish community of Wuerttemberg in Stuttgart. A new community center was consecrated in the same year. The community had 450 members in 2004, mostly immigrants from the former Soviet Union who went to Germany after 1990.
M. Brann, in: Festschrift… Kroner (1917), 162–88; M. Stern, in: ZGJD, 7 (1937), 243–8; H. Dicker, Die Geschichte der Juden in Ulm (1937); H. Keil (ed.), Dokumentation ueber die Verfolgungen der juedischen Buerger yon Ulm/Donau (1961); P. Sauer (ed.), Die juedischen Gemeinden in Wuerttemberg und Hohenzollern (1966); Germania Judaica, 1 (1963), index; 2 (1968), 843–6; 3 (1987), 1498–1522. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: P. Lang, "Die Reichsstadt Ulm und die Juden 1500–1803," in: Rottenburger Jahrbuch fuer Kirchengeschichte, 8 (1989), 39–48; Zeugnisse zur Geschichte der Juden in Ulm. Erinnerungen und Dokumente (1991); M. Adams and C. Maihoefer, Juedisches Ulm. Schauplaetze und Spuren (1998). WEBSITE: www.alemannia-judaica.de.
[Henry Wasserman /
Larissa Daemmig (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.