WEINHEIM, town in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. In the latter half of the 13th century it had a relatively large Jewish community, but in 1298 the synagogue, in which 70 Jews had sought refuge from the *Rindfleisch persecutions, was burnt down. Among the martyrs were several of the *Kalonymus family. A smaller community was established soon afterward. During the *Black Death persecutions (1349), Duke Rupert I granted asylum to Jewish refugees. In his reign a synagogue and cemetery were in existence. After his death (1390) the community declined and left few traces until the late 17th century, when a synagogue was built for the 15-family community by its leader, Oppenheim. At that time a guild was organized which was against Jewish bakers and millers; market regulations assigned them a special quarter. In 1906 a new synagogue, financed by the Hirsch family, who owned the tanning factory, was dedicated. The community comprised 188 persons in 1910 (1.3 percent of the total population) and 168 in 1933; subsequently a decline set in. On Nov. 10, 1938, the furnishings of the synagogue were demolished by axe-wielding Nazis; later it was blown up. On Oct. 22, 1940, 40 Jews were deported to *Gurs. In 1967 two Jews were living in Weinheim. A plaque (mounted in 1967) commemorates the destroyed synagogue. Another memorial (mounted in 1999) is dedicated to the victims of the Nazi era. The 17th-century synagogue (which was sold in 1906) is now a residential building.
D. Horsch (ed.), Die juedische Gemeinde in Weinheim (1964); Germania Judaica, 2 (1968), 870–1; 3 (1987), 1563–65; ADD BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Fischer, "Geduldet, vertrieben, ermordet. Die Juden in Weinheim bis 1933," in: Die Stadt Weinheim zwischen 1933 und 1945 (Weinheimer Geschichtsblatt, vol. 38) (2000), 351–444; C. Modig, "Die juedischen Buerger Weinheims 1933–1945," in: Die Stadt Weinheim zwischen 1933 und 1945 (Weinheimer Geschichts blatt, vol. 38) (2000), 445–567. WEBSITE: www.alemannia-judaica.de.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.