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Bingen, Germany

BINGEN, town in Rhenish Hesse, Germany. *Benjamin of Tudela (mid-12th century) heard of a community there. The Christian burghers attacked the small Jewish quarter on the Jewish New Year's Day of 1198 or 1199, and its inhabitants were then driven from the city. Jews are again found in Bingen as moneylenders in the middle of the 13th century under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Mainz. In 1343 French Jews settled in Bingen. During the *Black Death (1348–49) the Jews in Bingen, too, suffered severely. They were later placed under the jurisdiction of the Church in order to save them from further excesses (1365). In 1405, however, the archbishop declared a moratorium on one-fifth of the debts owed to Jews by Christians, and subsequently the archbishops repeatedly extorted large sums. Noted rabbis who taught in the small community included Seligmann Oppenheim, who convened the Council of Bingen (1455–56) in an unsuccessful attempt to establish his authority over the whole of Rhineland Jewry. After the proposal was opposed by Moses *Minz , the matter was referred to Isaac *Isserlein , who rejected the project. The Jews were again expelled from Bingen in 1507, and did not return until the second half of the 16th century. There were 21 Jewish families living in Bingen in 1689, and 343 in 1754. The Jewish population numbered 465 in 1933, and 222 in 1939 in the wake of flight and emigration. The 169 Jews who remained in Bingen in 1942 were deported and only four ultimately returned. The synagogue was demolished in 1945, and the community was not reestablished after the war.


R. Gruenfeld, Zur Geschichte der Juden in Bingen am Rhein (1905); Germ Jud, 1 (1963), 26f.; 2 (1968), 82–85; PK.

[Zvi Avneri]

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