MARBURG , city in Hesse, Germany. A document dated May 13, 1317 – the first to mention Jews in Marburg – indicates that they then had an organized community and a synagogue, and lived in a special quarter. The community was annihilated during the *Black Death persecutions (1348/49), but Jews were living in the town once more by 1364. In the middle of the 15th century they were apparently expelled from Marburg; the synagogue was demolished in 1452 and the cemetery passed into non-Jewish hands. The Jewish population eventually returned, only to be driven out again by a decree of 1523. However, in 1532 Duke Philip abolished the decree and permitted the Jews to reside there for a six-year period. In subsequent years the number of Marburg Jews remained low: six families in 1744 and eight in 1776. Jews from outside the town were permitted to remain there only during the annual fairs. The number of Jews increased during the course of the 19th century, reaching 512 (2.5% of the total population) in 1905. From 1823 Marburg was the seat of the district community organization and later of the district rabbinate. The community maintained a synagogue (built in 1897), a school, a convalescent home, and a number of other institutions. Hermann *Cohen, professor at the local university, founded the Marburg school of Neo-Kantianism. In 1933 there were about 325 Jews in Marburg. On November 10, 1938, the synagogue was burned down. By May 17, 1939, only 143 Jews remained; ten survived the war, while the rest left or were deported in 1941–42. About 300 Jews lived in Marburg between 1945 and 1948; but by 1959 only 50 remained, and by 1961 the number had shrunk to 15. In 1989 a new community center was inaugurated. The building was provided by the municipality of Marburg. The Jewish community numbered 30 in 1989 and about 350 in 2005. Most of the members are immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Since the community center was too small to accommodate the increased membership, a new one was opened in 2004. This building, too, was provided by the municipality of Marburg.
L. Munk, Zur Erinnerung an die Einweihung der neuen Synagoge in Marburg (1897); fjw (1932–33), 191–4; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 522–3; M. Hirschhorn, in: Juedische Wohlfahrtspflege und Sozialpolitik, 3 (1932), 342ff.; 6 (1937), 29ff. add. bibliography: G. Rehme and K Haase, … mit Rumpf und Stumpf ausrotten… Zur Geschichte der Juden in Marburg und Umgebung nach 1933 (Marburger Stadtschriften zur Geschichte und Kultur, vol. 6) (1982); A. Maimon, M. Breuer, Y. Guggenheim (eds.), Germania Judaica vol. 3. 1350–1514 (1987), 832–46; A. Erdmann, Die Marburger Juden. Ihre Geschichte von den Anfaengen bis zur Gegenwart. Dargestellt anhand der staatlichen Quellen unter besonderer Beruecksichtigung des 19. Jahrhunderts (1987); B. Haendler-Lachmann and T. Werther, Vergessene Geschaefte – verlorene Geschichte. Juedisches Wirtschaftsleben in Marburg und seine Vernichtung im Nationalsozialismus (1992); E. Dettmering (ed.), Zur Geschichte der Synagoge und der juedischen Gemeinde in Marburg (Marburger Stadtschriften zur Geschichte und Kultur, vol. 39) (1992). website: www.jg-marburg.de.
[Larissa Daemmig (2nd ed.)]