KISSINGEN (Bad Kissingen), town in Bavaria, Germany. The presence of Jews in Kissingen during the 13th century is attested by Jewish victims of the *Rindfleisch massacres (1298). Nothing more is heard of them until 1650, when local butchers complained that Jews were illegally practicing their trade. Complaints against their growing number were lodged in 1798. In 1801 a cemetery was established; a synagogue was built in 1852 and another in 1902. The community numbered 181 (17% of the total population) in 1816; it then fluctuated between 300 and 350, reaching a temporary peak of 504 in 1925. In 1933 there were 344 (4%) Jews living in Kissingen; their number had been reduced to 63 through emigration by Dec. 17, 1939. Bad Kissingen was an important health resort and the catering and hotel business was largely in Jewish hands. Seckel Bamberger, the district rabbi (1902–32), established a large children's sanatorium in 1905; in 1919 and 1927 wards for women and the aged were added.
On Nov. 10, 1938, the synagogue was burned down, and numerous shops and hotels were looted. The rabbi's sons were bound together, paraded through the town, and forced to dig up sacred objects consigned to the genizah in the community's cemetery. In April 1942, 23 of the remaining 43 Jews were transported to *Izbica near *Lublin and others to Theresienstadt. The city possesses the pinkas kahal (1770–1820) and maintains the cemetery.
M. Weinberg, Die Memorbuecher der juedischen Gemeinden in Bayern, 2 vols. (1937–38), 109–17; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 401; FJW, 290; PK; Part of the communal archives (1770–1938) are in the Jewish Historical General Archives in Jerusalem.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.