KARLSRUHE, city in Germany, formerly capital of *Baden. Jews settled there shortly after its foundation in 1715. By 1725 the community had a synagogue, bathhouse, infirmary, and cemetery. Nathan Uri Kahn served as rabbi of Karlsruhe from 1720 until his death in 1749. According to the 1752 Jewry ordinance Jews were forbidden to leave the city on Sundays and Christian holidays, or to go out of their houses during church services; but they were exempted from service by court summonses on Sabbaths. They could sell wine only in inns owned by Jews and graze their cattle, not on the commons, but on the wayside only. Business records had to be kept in German. The community officials, including two to three unmarried teachers, were exempted from tax. They exercised civic jurisdiction and could commit members of the community to the municipal prison for Jews. A ḥevra kaddisha was founded in 1726; the cemetery, also used by Jews of other towns, was enlarged in 1756 and 1794. There were nine Jewish families living in Karlsruhe in 1720, 50 in 1733, 80 in 1770, and 502 persons in 1802. Nethanel *Weil, who became chief rabbi of the two Baden margravates (1750–69), was succeeded by his son Jedidiah (Tiah) Weil (1770–1815).
Nethanel Weil's commentary on Asheri, Korban Netanel (on tractates Mo'ed and Nashim), was printed in 1755 in Karlsruhe by L.J. Held, a successor to old and well-known Augsburg printers. His successors, F.W. Lotter and M. Macklott, continued publishing Hebrew works, including some by Jonathan *Eybeschuetz (printed 1762–82) and the Torat Shabbat of Jacob *Weil (1839). The firm continued printing until 1899, mainly liturgical items, Judeo-German circulars, and popular stories. D.R. Marx, licensed in 1814, printed in 1836 a Hebrew Bible (18452), edited on behalf of the Jewish authorities (Oberrat) by a group of rabbis, among them Jacob *Ettlinger. Altogether some 60 Hebrew books were printed in Karlsruhe.
Karlsruhe was the seat of the central council (Oberrat) of Baden Jewry, according to the articles of the 1809 edict which granted them partial emancipation. Asher Loew, a participant in the Paris *Sanhedrin, was appointed rabbi of Baden and Karlsruhe in 1809; he was succeeded in 1837 by Elias Willstaedter. A new synagogue with organ was consecrated in 1875; the Orthodox faction seceded in 1878 and built its own synagogue in 1881.
From the 1820s Jews were permitted to practice law and medicine. After attaining complete emancipation in 1862, Jews were elected to the city council and the Baden parliament, and from 1890 were appointed judges.
The Jewish population numbered 670 in 1815, 1,080 in 1862 (3.6% of the total), 2,200 in 1892, 3,058 in 1913 (2.73%), 3,386 in 1925 (2.37%), 3,199 in June 1933 (2.01%), and 1,368 in May 1939. The Jews in Karlsruhe suffered from persecution during the *Hep! Hep! riots in 1819. Anti-Jewish demonstrations took place in 1843 and 1848, and in the 1880s the antisemitic movement of Adolf *Stoecker had its repercussions in Karlsruhe. The community maintained a variety of cultural and educational institutions. A Lehrhaus (school for adults) was founded in 1928.
During the first years of the Nazi regime the community continued to function and particularly to prepare Jews for emigration. An agricultural training school was founded and a biweekly newspaper (founded as a bulletin in 1840) was published. On Oct. 22, 1938, all male Polish Jews living in Karlsruhe were deported to Poland. The synagogues were destroyed on Kristallnacht, November 1938; most of the men were arrested and sent to *Dachau concentration camp, but were released after they had furnished proof that they intended to emigrate. In October 1940, 895 Jews were expelled and interned by the French Vichy authorities in *Gurs in southern France, most of whom were deported from there to *Auschwitzin November 1942. The 429 remaining Jews and non-Aryans were deported to the east between 1941 and 1944. There were 90 Jews living in Karlsruhe in May 1945, 63 in 1946, and 246 in 1968. An organized community was formed in 1945, and the Baden Central Jewish Council was reorganized in 1948. A new synagogue was consecrated in 1971. The Jewish community numbered 323 in 1989 and around 800 in 2004 after the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union.
E. Biberfeld, in: ZHB, 1 (1896/97), 90–96, 148–52; 2 (1897), 28–33, 60–64, 101–4, 129–31, 176–81; 3 (1899), 25–29, 50–53; S. Seeligman, ibid., 5 (1901), 61–64, 90–92; E. Biberfeld, Die hebraeischen Druckereien zu Karlsruhe i. B. (1898); L. Loewenstein, Nathaniel Weil, Oberlandesrabbiner in Karlsruhe (1898); A. Lewin, Geschichte der badischen Juden (1909), 1–10, 76ff., 264–7, and passim; B. Rosenthal, Heimatgeschichte der badischen Juden (1927); idem, in: MGWJ, 71 (1927), 207–220; Gedenkbuch zum hundertfuenfunzwanzigjaehrigen Bestehen des Oberrats der Israeliten Badens (1934); N. Stein, in: YLBI, 1 (1955), 177–90; H. Maor, Ueber den Wiederaufbau der juedischen Gemeinden in Deutschland seit 1945 (1961), 29, 59, 99; K. Schilling (ed.), Monumenta Judaica-Handbuch (1963), index; P. Sauer, Dokumente ueber die Verfolgung der juedischen Buerger in Baden-Wuerttemberg, 2 vols., (1966), index; H. Schnee, Die Hoffinanz und der moderne Staat, 4 (1963), 43–85; G. Taddey and F. Hundsnurscher, Die juedischen Gemeinden in Baden (1968); E. Kotlowsky, in: Zeitschrift fuer Geschichte der Juden, 6 (1969), 44–53. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J.Stude, Geschichte der Juden im Landkreis Karlsruhe (1990); J. Werner, Hakenkreuz und Judenstern. Das Schicksal der Karlsruher Juden im Dritten Reich, Veroeffentlichungen des Karlsruher Stadtarchivs, vol. 9 (19902); H. Schmitt, (ed.), Juden in Karlsruhe. Beitraege zu ihrer Geschichte bis zur nationalsozialistischen Machtergreifung, Veroeffentlichungen des Karlsruher Stadtarchivs, vol. 8 (19902); J. Paulus, "Die juedische Gemeinde Karlsruhe," in: Juden in Baden 1809–1984. 175 Jahre Oberrat der Israeliten Badens (1984), 227–33. WEBSITE: http://jg-karlsruhe.bei.t-online.de/.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.