MAGDEBURG, city in Germany. The Jewish community of Magdeburg is one of the oldest in Germany. As early as 965 there were Jews living in the town, and they were placed under the jurisdiction of the archbishop by Otto the Great. They traded in the "clothing-court" (Kleiderhof), in the merchants' quarter, and conducted their trade even beyond the Oder River. Their quarter, the Judendorf, was situated in the south
When the great elector, Frederick William, readmitted Jews to *Prussia (1671), Schutzjuden settled once more in Magdeburg. From 1703 they were to be found in Sudenburg, from 1715 in the newer part of town (the Neustadt), and from 1729 in the Altstadt. A religious school was founded by the modern community in 1834 and a hevra kaddisha in 1839. Rabbis of the community included Ludwig *Philippson, editor of *Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums; Moritz *Guedemann, and Moritz Spanier, both of whom wrote a history of the community. Eduard *Lasker and Otto *Landsberg were repeatedly elected to parliament from Magdeburg. The prosperous community, which included 45 doctors (who founded their own club in 1903), had about 20 social, cultural, and charitable organizations in 1933. The number of Jews increased steadily from 330 in 1817 to 559 in 1840; 1,000 in 1859; 1,815 in 1885; 1,843 in 1910; and around 3,200 in 1928, then dropped to 2,361 (0.6% of the total population) in 1933. The synagogue, built in 1851 and enlarged to seat 900 in 1897, was burned down on November 10, 1938. The men were interned in *Buchenwald. By May 17, 1939, only 679 Jews remained in the town, and the majority were transported to concentration camps. On July 1, 1944, there were still 185 Jews living in Magdeburg, mainly partners of mixed marriages, who managed to survive the war. After the war, some Jews returned to Magdeburg. In 1962 the Jewish community numbered 79 and diminished to 49 in 1969. It declined even more during the 1970s and 1980s, dwindling to 35 in 1989. But in 2005 it rose to 635 members due to the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union. Magdeburg is the seat of the Association of Jewish communities in the State of Saxony-Anhalt, which was founded in 1994.
M. Guedemann, in: MGWJ, 14 (1865), 241–56, 281–96, 321–35, 361–70; M. Spanier, Geschichte der Juden in Magdeburg (1928); idem, in: ZGJD, 5 (1892), 273, 392–5; Vogelstein-Rieger, 1 (1895), 315; D. Kaufmann and M. Freudenthal, Die Familie Gomperz (1907), 236–42; MGADJ, 1 (1909), 110; 3 (1911/12), 164; S. Neufeld, Die Juden im Thueringisch-Saechsischen Gebiet…, pt. 2 (1927), 8, 14–16, 168–70; Germ Jud, 1 (1963), 163–70; 2 (1968), 505–10; FJW (1932); PKG; E. Forchheimer, in: Geschichtsblaetter fuer Stadt und Land Magdeburg, 46 (1911), 119–78, 328–40; O. Simon, in: AJR Information, 15 (Nov. 1960): S. Stern, Der preussische Staat und die Juden, 1 (1962), Akten, no. 135–9, 371–410a; 2 (1962), Akten, no. 496–571. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Seibert, "Magdeburg," in: J. Dick, Wegweiser durchdas juedische Sachsen-Anhalt, vol. 3 (1998), 23–36; K. Kaergling, (ed.), Juedisches Kult- und Kulturgut. Spuren zur Geschichte der Juden in Magdeburg (1992); G. Kuntze, Unter aufgehobenen Rechten (1992); A. Maimon, M. Breuer, Y. Guggenheim (eds.), Germania Judaica, vol. 3 (1987), 772–83.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.