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RAVENSBURG , city in Wuerttemberg, Germany. A Jewish community existed there in the first half of the 14th century and had a synagogue. From 1330 to 1343 ten Jews are listed in the burgher rolls, including a rabbi or teacher (referred to as Ysak scholasticus) and a miller. The Jewish *oath (a brief dignified formula) was administered in the synagogue. The Jews' street was near the northern wall. During the *Black Death persecutions, the Jews fled to the imperial bailiff 's castle where most of them were burned to death by the populace early in 1349. A survivor was admitted as a burgher in *Esslingen in 1385. Jews again appear in Ravensburg in 1380; in 1385 two Jewish masons are mentioned. In 1427 a Jew was imprisoned on charges of forgery but released upon proving his innocence. In 1429, when a young lay brother's body was found hanging from a tree in a nearby wood, two Jewish couples, one of them with their son, were accused of murder and imprisoned; they made a public declaration of innocence, which was signed by the Swabian imperial bailiff, his deputy, and others. However, the social unrest in the area caused the *blood libel to spread, and Jews in the communities on Lake *Constance were also arrested. In 1430 the imprisoned Jews in Ravensburg were burned to death and the rest banished from the city. The decision was reaffirmed by King Ferdinand i in 1588. Both King Sigismund ii at the end of 1430 and Bishop Henry of Constance in 1441 vigorously opposed attempts to venerate the dead boy. Nevertheless, in local tradition the blood libel fable prevailed, as crystalized in a chronicle written c. 1770.

In the 18th century some Jews attended fairs held in Ravensburg, and by 1835 a few Jews had moved to the city. They numbered 40 in 1900 and 27 between 1925 and 1933. Of these 12 emigrated, five moved elsewhere, and 13 were deported to death camps in Eastern Europe in 1941–42. There were 32 liberated Jewish survivors of the Holocaust living in Ravensburg by 1947–48; 17 Jews remained by 1965. In 1968 eight Jews were affiliated with the *Stuttgart community. In 2005 there were three Jews living in Ravensburg who were members of the Jewish community in Stuttgart.


M. Stern, in: zgjd, 1 (1887), 301 (15a), 303 (2), 307 (16); 7 (n.s. 1937), 248; Der Israelit, 50, nos. 30, 31, 33 (1909); H. Maor, Ueber den Wiederaufbau der juedischen Gemeinden in Deutschland seit 1945 (1961), 59; A. Dreher, in: Wuerttembergisches Staedtebuch (1962), 407; idem, in: Zeitschrift fuer Wuerttembergische Landeskunde, 12 (1962), 453–5; P. Sauer (ed.), Dokumente ueber die Verfolgung der juedischen Bevoelkerung in Baden-Wuerttemberg 19331945 (1966), index; Stadtarchiv Ravensburg: Urkunden nos. 943, 945. Reportorium, vol. 2, 92d, 864f., 23a; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 676–8. add. bibliography: Germania Judaica, vol. 3, 1350–1514 (1987), 1173–77.

[Toni Oelsner]