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Bacharach, Germany

BACHARACH (Bacherach), town in the Rhine Valley, Germany. Jews were living in Bacharach in the first part of the 12th century and were engaged in moneylending. While the troops were assembling there in preparation for the Second *Crusade , several families left the town and took refuge in the nearby castle of Stahleck. Three householders who went on royal orders to collect their debts were martyred by the crusaders on the eve of Pentecost, 1147. In 1283, 26 Jews were massacred as the result of a *blood libel . Heinrich Heine's incomplete epic, Der Rabbi von Bacherach, was based on a massacre in 1287 following a blood libel in Oberwesel. The Jews in Bacharach were attacked by the *Armleder in 1338–39, and others lost their lives in the *Black Death persecutions, 1348–49. A document dated 1510 shows that the Jewish community had by then been reestablished. In the early modern era a synagogue and a ritual bath, probably used by the Jews of Bacharach, existed in nearby Steeg. There were 34 Jews living in the town in 1924 and 200 in the area in 1932. The five Jews who remained in Bacharach were deported by July 26, 1942 by the Nazis. A number of noted Jewish families derived their name from Bacharach (see next entry).


Germ Jud, 1 (1963), 17; 2 (1968), 44; AWJD (June 9, 1967), 17; Kahlenberg, in: Zwischen Rhein und Mosel…, 17 (1967), 643ff. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Kuenzl, in: G. Heuberger (ed.), Mikwe (Ger., 1992), 23–88; K.H. Debus, in: Bacharach und die Geschichte der Viertaelerorte (1996), 319–26.

[Zvi Avneri]

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