NOERDLINGEN, city in Bavaria, Germany. Jews were to be found in Noerdlingen from the 12th century, but the sources reflect an organized community only in the 13th century. Eight Jews were martyred there during the *Rindfleisch persecutions (1298), but community life was renewed soon afterward. In 1331 Emperor Louis IV granted four "honorable" Jewish elders the extraordinary privilege of jurisdiction over foreign Jews. There were about 20 Jewish houses in the Judengasse (which was also inhabited by Christians), and the community possessed a synagogue and a cemetery; the Jews made their living as moneylenders. During the *Black Death persecutions of 1348 many Jews were killed or imprisoned; their property and promissory notes were confiscated by the city. Emperor *Charles IV pardoned the burghers and canceled their debts to the Jews. Subsequently he acceded to the city's request to readmit Jews. A synagogue was mentioned in 1357, and in 1378 the community consecrated a cemetery. However, during fresh riots in 1384 about 200 Jews were murdered and the community ceased to exist. After Jews were again admitted into the city in 1401, a new and prosperous community came into being; a new cemetery, which also served the neighboring communities, was put into use in 1415. Taxes were heavy: five *Schutzjuden ("protected Jews") provided three-eighths of the amount paid by the whole 34-member city council. In 1437 Jews were forbidden to hire Christian servants and ordered to wear the Jewish *badge–though this order does not seem to have been strictly enforced. The Hussite wars resulted in temporary banishment between 1454 and 1459, and hostile agitation by the clergy led to the expulsion of the Jews in 1507. The synagogue was sold in 1517, but refugees who had settled nearby attended Noerdlingen's annual fairs. A community, with 25 families, was organized in 1870, dedicated a new synagogue in 1885, and founded a ḥevra kaddisha in 1898. It numbered 489 persons in 1899, and 314 (3.8% of the total) in 1913. By June 16, 1933, only 186 remained; 145 of them left before 1942, when the remnants of the Jewish community were deported. The mayor of the city prevented the destruction of the synagogue in 1938, and in 1952 it was sold to a Protestant group as a community center. The building was rebuilt but, in the process, the architecture of the former synagogue was destroyed. In 1997 the building was demolished and replaced by a new structure. A plaque commemorates the former synagogue.
L. Mueller, Aus fuenf Jahrhunderten (1899); K.O. Mueller, Noerdlingens Stadtrechte des Mittelalters (1930), index S.V. Juden; K. Puchner and G. Wulz (eds.), Urkunden der Stadt Noerd lingen 1233–1399, 2 (1956), 111, no. 529; Jahrbuch des historischen Vereins fuer Noerdlingen, 2 (1913), 135; Baron, Social, 11 (19672), 71; Germ Jud, 1 (1963), 247–8; 2 (1968), 593–7; Gemeinde-Verzeichnis fuer das Koenigreich Bayern, Volkszaehlung 1890 (1892), 244; Statistisches Jahrbuch des deutsch-israelitischen Gemeindebundes (1905), 93; Handbuch der juedischen Gemeindeverwaltung (1913), 156; Fuehrerdurch die juedische Gemeindeverwaltung… in Deutschland (1932/33), 315; T. Oelsner, in; Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 60 (1970); R. Wischnitzer, in: Chicago Jewish Forum, 4:1 (1945), 49f.; PK Bavaryah. ADD BIBLIOGRAPHY: B. Ophir and F. Wiesemann (eds.), Die juedischen Gemeinden in Bayern 1918–1945. Geschichte und Zerstoerung (1979) 486–88; D. Voges, "Zur Geschichte der Juden in Noerdlingen," in: W. Barsig (ed.), Rieser Kulturtage (Eine Landschaft stellt sich vor, vol. 3) (1980); G. Roemer, Der Leidensweg der Juden in Schwaben. Schicksale von 1933 bis 1945 in Berichten, Dokumenten und Zahlen (1983) 101–6; Germania Judaica, vol. 3 1350–1514 (1987), 977–94; I. Schwierz, Steinerne Zeugnisse juedischen Lebens in Bayern. Eine Dokumentation (19922), 259–60. WEBSITE: www.alemannia-judaica.de.