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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Baden

Settlement and expulsions in the Middle Ages - Jewish rights since 1807 - equality since 1862 - professions - Holocaust deportation in 1940 - reconstruction since 1945

Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Baden, vol. 4,
                    col. 60, map with the Jewish centers of population
                    in Baden in the Middle Ages and in 1932/1933
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Baden, vol. 4, col. 60, map with the Jewish centers of population in Baden in the Middle Ages and in 1932/1933

from: Baden; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971), vol. 4

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

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<BADEN, part of the Land of Baden-Wuerttemberg, West Germany.

The former grand duchy was created in 1806 from parts of various territories (including the Palatinate), where until then the Jews had formed no united community or shared a common history.

[Middle Ages: settlements - expulsions and new settlement - Thirty Years' War]

The earliest records of the presence of Jews in these territories relate to Gruensfeld (1218), Ueberlingen (1226), *Freiburg (c. 1230), Lauda and *Tauberbischofsheim (1235), *Constance (1241), and Sinsheim (early 13th century). The Jews had been expelled from several of these areas at various times: the Palatinate in 1391, the margravate of Baden in 1470, Austrian Breisgau in 1573, and the diocese of Basle in 1581. (col. 59)

In the Middle Ages Baden Jewry engaged in money lending, later in livestock-dealing (which was the main source of income for the Jews in the countryside) and retail trading. (col. 61)

Until 1806 the history of the Jews in the margravate of Baden, which subsequently formed the nucleus of the state of Baden, may be summarized briefly. After the *Black Death, 1348-49; few Jews lived there but even these were expelled (col. 59)

in 1470, as a result of the blood libel of *Endingen (South Baden). Jews were allowed to return to baden at the beginning of the 16th century. In 1535 the margravate of Baden was divided into Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach, to be united again in 1771. The Jews were expelled from Baden-Baden in 1614, but readmitted during the Thirty Years' War (1618-48).

According to the first legislation concerning the status of the Jews in Baden-Baden in 1714, the territorial organization of the Jewry was headed by two laz officers (Schultheisse) and a rabbi. In Baden-Durlach Jews were first tolerated officially in 1537, but were expelled during the Thirty Years' War and readmitted in 1666. The Jewish population numbered 24 families in 1709, increasing to 160 families by 1738.

[Jewish rights after the constitutional edict since 14 May 1807 - Judenedikt 13 Jan. 1809 - official equality and resistance against equality since 1862]

After the grand duchy of Baden was created, the position of its Schutzjuden ("protected Jews") improved. In the first constitutional edict of May 14, 1807, Judaism was recognized as a tolerated religion; a year later, the sixth edict afforded the Jews irrevocable civil rights and abolished the marriage restrictions imposed on them (see *Familiants' Laws). The ninth edict (the so-called "Judenedikt" of Jan. 13, 1809) granted the Jews an officially recognized state organization, required them to adopt permanent family names, and determined their as yet very curtailed civil status.

The struggle for emancipation continued until 1862 when they achieved full civic equality. Anti-Jewish outrages occurred in Baden in 1819 (*Hep-Hep), 1848, and 1862. In 1862 the last of Baden's cities to exclude Jews (Baden-Baden, Freiburg, Constance, and Offenburg), finally allowed them to settle there. Nevertheless, animosity toward the Jews continued to be expressed in Baden, where Adolph *Stoecker's anti-Semitic Christian Social Party found numbers of adherents. After the Baden Army Corps was incorporated into the Prussian army, no Jew was promoted to the position of reserve officer or (col. 60)

medical officer. Professorships too were granted almost exclusively to baptized Jews.

In 1868 Grand Duke Frederick I appointed the Durlach lawyer, Moritz *Ellstaetter, his minister of finance, making him the first German Jews to hold a ministerial position. Theodor *Herzl tried to interest the German emperor in [[racist]] Zionism through the intervention of the grand duke. The Jews of Baden also participated in its political life.

[Jews in politics of Baden 1862-1933]

In 1862 the lawyer R. Kusel was elected to represent Karlsruhe in the second chamber, and Ludwig Frank of Mannheim was elected to the Landtag and later to the Reichstag as Social Democratic member. He was among the 589 Baden Jews who fell in World War I. Two Jews were in the first postwar cabinet of Baden, L. Marum (minister of justice, murdered by the Nazis in 1933) and Ludwig *Haas (minister of the interior), who was also active in Jewish affairs.

[Professions and Jewish cultural life in Baden in 19th century]

In the 19th century occupational difficulties resulted in Jewish emigration to America, although at this time it was possible for Jews to engage in industry also. Baden Jewry was one of the earliest German Jewish Territorial Organizations to establish a state-recognized central organization (1809) - the Oberrat ("supreme council") - which in conjunction with the Synod (established in 1895) represented and directed the affairs of the community. Until its reorganization on May 14, 1923, the Oberrat was under state control. Religious controversy between the Orthodox and *Reform factions began in the early 19th century, the Reform later tending to predominate with the decline of the rural communities. When the *Karlsruhe community included an organ in its new synagogue (1868) and introduced reforms into the services, the Orthodox Jews, led by B.H. Wormser, established a separatist congregation there, the only one in Baden, which was given state recognition.

In 1806 Baden had a Jewish population of about 12,000, which had risen to 24,099 by 1862. As the result of emigration after the rise of Nazism it decreased from 20,617 in 1933 to 8,725 by 1939.

[Holocaust 1940-1945]

The Jews of Baden were among the first to be deported from Germany. On Oct. 22, 1940, some 5,600 Baden Jews, along with others from the Palatinate and the Saar, were transported to *Gurs concentration camp (southern France), from where they were further deported to Poland from 1942 onward [[resp. to the tunnel systems with high death rates]]. Approximately 50 Jews from Baden survived in France.


The Oberrat was reestablished after the war. In 1962 the cemetery in Gurs was leased to the Baden Oberrat for 99 years. The community of Baden numbered 1094 in 1969; in 1969 there were six communities in Baden (66 Jews in Baden-Baden, 248 in Freiburg, 135 in *Heidelberg, 260 in Karlsruhe, 387 in *Mannheim and Constance), with N.P. Levinson as chief rabbi.

-- B. Rosenthal: Heimatgeschichte der badischen Juden [[History of the Baden Jews]] (1927), includes bibl.
-- Gedenkbuch zum 125-jaehrigen Bestehen des Oberrats der Israeliten Badens [[Jubilee book for 125 years Oberrat of the Israelites of Baden]] (1934)
-- A. Lewin: Geschichte der badischen Juden 1738-1909 [[History of the Baden Jews 1738-1909]] (1909)
-- R. Ruerup, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte des Oberrheins [[Journal for the History of the Upper Rhine valley]], 114 (1966), 241-300
-- N. Stein, in: YLBI, 1 (1956), 177-90
-- P. Sauer: Dokumente ueber die Verfolgung der juedischen Buerger in Baden-Wuerttemberg [[Documents of the persecution of the Jewish civilians in Baden-Wuerttemberg]], 2 pts. (1966)
-- H. Schnee: Die Hoffinanz und der moderne Staat [[The court finance and the modern state]], 2 (1963), 43-86
-- idem: Die Schicksale der juedischen Buerger Baden-Wuerttembergs 1933-45 [[The faiths of the Jewish civilians of Baden Wuerttemberg]] (1969)
-- F. Hundsnurscher and G. Taddey: Die juedischen Gemeinden in Baden [[The Jewish communities in Baden]] (1968); Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 45-47
-- Die Opfer der Nationalsozialistischen Judenverfolgung in Baden-Wuerttemberg [[The victims of the National Socialist persecution of the Jews in Baden Wuerttemberg]] (1969)

[B. BR.]> (col. 61)

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Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Baden, vol. 4,
                    col. 59-60
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Baden, vol. 4, col. 59-60
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Baden, vol. 4,
                      col. 61
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Baden, vol. 4, col. 61