HOHENZOLLERN, former Prussian province in S. Germany. The history of the Jews of Hohenzollern is largely the history of the three main communities: Hechingen, Haigerloch, and Dettensee. The former two were autonomous bodies with separate mayors and officials up to 1871 and 1837 respectively, when emancipation was granted.
There was a small Jewish settlement in Hechingen in the early 16th century, and a house was bought for use as a synagogue by the community of 10 families in 1546. In 1592 the burghers refused to conduct any commercial or financial transactions with Jews, who therefore left the town. There is no trace of Jewish settlement in the town during the next century. In 1701 Prince Frederick William I gave letters of protection lasting 10 years to six Jewish families in the neighboring villages; soon there were Jews living in the city as well. By 1737 there were 30 households, and a synagogue was built in 1761 which existed until 1870. From the end of the 18th century, the *Kaulla family of court financiers helped to improve the condition of the Jews. In 1803 they erected a bet midrash which remained in existence until 1850. Hechingen had 809 Jews (one-quarter of the total population) in 1842; the number declined to 331 in 1885 and 101 in 1931. The community was prosperous and owned most of the local industries. On the night of Nov. 9, 1938, the synagogue was demolished; 32 Jews from Hechingen were deported and murdered during World War II.
In 1720 the first Jews were admitted into Dettensee. The 23 Jewish families, mainly livestock dealers, were compelled in 1764 to live in only three buildings which housed the synagogue and schoolroom as well. In 1800 they were forced by the townspeople to quarter horses even though none of them owned stables. Repeated protests and requests for some amelioration of living conditions were of no avail. The number of families was restricted; younger sons had no option but to leave. Eleven out of 23 families lived on charity in 1807. However, a synagogue was opened in 1820 and a cemetery consecrated in 1830. At that time there were 173 Jews in the village; by 1890 the number had declined to 100 largely through emigration, and in 1932 only two were left.
Jews lived at Haigerloch in early medieval times but in 1348 they were all burned during the *Black Death persecutions. Only in the latter half of the 16th century were a number of Jews readmitted to the town. Repeated protests by the burghers against Jewish moneylenders, peddlers, and beggars induced Duke Joseph to restrict the number of tolerated Jewish families in 1745 and to prohibit them from marrying in 1749; the latter order was subsequently rescinded. In 1752 the whole community escaped at night when forced to be present at Christian services. Only those prepared to attend church four times a year were allowed to remain. Twenty Jewish families lived in a special quarter, the "Haag," in 1780. The community numbered 323 in 1844 and 213 in 1933, and conducted an active religious and cultural life. They played a significant role in the industrial and commercial development of the city. On Nov. 10, 1938, the synagogue, school, and communal center were demolished; windows were smashed in shops and homes, and the men arrested and interned in *Dachau. Exactly a year later, Haigerloch Jews were again arrested. During the war Jews from Wuerttemberg were transferred to Haigerloch and at least 192 were deported.
P. Sauer, Die juedischen Gemeinden in Wuerttemberg und Hohenzollern (1966).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.