ZERBST, city in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. A Judenwinkel (Jewish lane), which contained houses owned by both Jews and Christians, was mentioned in 1324. Shortly afterward, the Jews seemed to have been forced to move to the east side of the street, where they rented their homes from Christian landlords. A street once named Keverstrasse (kever = Heb. "grave"), situated outside the original city walls, may have received its name from a Jewish cemetery. After the establishment of the duchy of Zerbst-Anhalt in 1603, the dukes granted letters of protection to Jewish merchants. The modern community, founded in the mid-19th century, numbered 81 in 1880; 120 in 1932; 95 in 1933; but only 36 on September 1, 1939. It maintained a synagogue, cemetery, and school. During World War II, two forced labor camps were erected in the vicinity. In 1942, 34 of the 36 remaining Jews were deported to the east.

A plaque commemorates the destroyed synagogue and the former Jewish community. Another plaque, in the Jewish cemetery, honors the victims of Kristallnacht.


FJW, 419; Germania Judaica, 2 (1968), 939–40; 3 (1987), 1718–19; PK Germanyah. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: B. Bugaiski, I. Leubauer, and G. Waesche, Geschichte der juedischen Gemeinden in Sachsen-Anhalt. Versuch einer Erinnerung (1997), 286–91; W. Binger (ed.), Gedenkorte fuer die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus in Sachsen-Anhalt (1998), 62.

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