Jewish inhabitants "Patrons" und "protected Jews" The Geniza
 History ]

The Jewish community in Memmelsdorf

Since the 16th century, Memmelsdorf was under the patronage of the von Lichtenstein family. Their family seat was the "Schlösslein" ("little mansion") near the Alster bridge. The von Buttlar family were first mentioned Memmelsdorf in 1653. Junker Sylvester von Buttlar lived in an estate at the end of what is now Schlossgasse. This included a large garden between what is now Schlossgasse and Judengasse. Von Buttlar had several houses built for Jews at the east end of the garden. The occupants were exempt from any well, bridge or community socage (statute labour) but they were required to pay the community half a gulden annually.

Window with a

[ Window with a "griffin’s claw" in the east wall of the synagogue ]

Prince Bishop Johann Philipp von Greiffenclau acquired the estates of the von Buttlar and von Lichtenstein families on 29 January 1705, with the feudal estate zu Gereuth, an immediate territory of the empire. Consequently, the von Greiffenclau family are mentioned in the village chronicle as patrons of the Memmelsdorf Jews. Lothar von Greiffenclau also permitted the construction of the synagogue in 1728. This is commemorated in the "griffin’s claw" derived from the von Greiffenclau crest, set in a window grille in the east wall.

The Die number of members of the Jewish community in Memmelsdorf grew steadily, reaching a peak in 1813 of 240 individuals (around half of the total population). The restrictions that were in place since the Bavarian Judenedikt (Jews’s Edict) of 1813 limiting Jews’ place of residence by strictly regulating the number of Jewish households in a community, were lifted in 1861. The number of Jewish inhabitants in Memmelsdorf thus also declined since the mid 19th century as a result of emigration or migration to larger towns.

The Jewish community had its own elementary school between November 1819 and May 1912, which was closed because of declining numbers of pupils.

In 1835, the Memmelsdorf Jews established their own cemetery on a rise to the north of the village. Prior to this, the dead had to be buried at the Jewish cemetery in Ebern.

Five Memmelsdorf Jews fell or were considered missing in the First World War. The 25 Jews still living in Memmelsdorf in 1933 were able to emigrate in time or were forced to move to the Jewish home for the aged in Würzburg. The last Jews left the village in 1939. 17 Memmelsdorf Jews were deported from their new places of residence and were murdered in concentration camps. No Jews returned to Memmelsdorf after the Second World War.