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THIONVILLE, town in the department of Moselle, N.E. France. There is evidence confirming the presence of Jews in Thionville beginning in the 15th century. In 1546 the physician of the Count of Nassau-Sarrebruck was a Jew who originated from Thionville. A place known as the "cemetery of the Jews" is mentioned about 1560, but by then the Jews had disappeared from the town. After the French conquest, two Jewish families from Metz were authorized to settle in the town in 1656, in spite of the objections of the inhabitants. In 1780 there were about 20 Jewish inhabitants. Four Thionville Jews were compelled to give up their merchant licenses, which they had purchased in 1767, in spite of a famous speech by their counsel Pierre Louis de Lacretelle. There were 14 Jewish families in Thionville in 1795; 40 in 1812; 310 in 1831; 183 in 1880; 332 in 1910; and 281 in 1931. From 1909 to 1940, Thionville was the seat of the regional rabbinate. During the Nazi occupation five Jews were shot and about 30 families were deported. In 1970 the Jewish community consisted of some 450 people. The synagogue, established in 1805, has been rebuilt on several occasions, most recently in 1957, after it had been burned down by the Nazis during World War II.


A.J. Kohn, Zur Geschichte der Juden in Diedenhofen … (1913); Z. Szajkowski, Franco-Judaica (1962), index.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.