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Rexingen

REXINGEN

REXINGEN , village in Wuerttemberg, Germany. Fleeing from the *Chmielnicki massacres in Poland, the first two Jewish families settled in Rexingen in 1650. Later, other families from Austria and neighboring countries settled in the village. Jews made their living mainly through trade in leather and peddling. A synagogue was built in 1710, and in 1760 a cemetery was consecrated. A limited emancipation granted in 1828 was completed in 1848. That year David Gideon, a Jew, was captain of the citizen's militia. In the 19th century Rexingen Jews were horse and cattle dealers, merchants of textiles and agricultural products, shopkeepers, bakers, butchers, innkeepers, almost all of whom possessed land (and worked it) and raised their own cattle. In the middle of the 19th century, 50% of the village population was Jewish; toward the end of the century, the Jews were 30% of the total population. There were 240 Jews in 1807; 330 in 1831; 427 in 1854; 387 in 1900; and 262 in 1933. The community was served by a district rabbi, whose seat was in Muhringen until 1914, when the responsibility was passed on to the rabbi of Horb. A Jewish school came into being in 1824. In 1924 there were six different community organizations, including a ḥevra kaddisha. Under the pressure of Nazi persecution, a group of 38 Jews (15%) immigrated to Ereẓ Israel in 1933 and was joined by others from nearby villages and towns. They set up the *Shavei Zion settlement near Nahariyyah (April 1938). In November 1938 the interior of the synagogue in Rexingen was destroyed; in 1939 the 126 Jews left in the town were deported; only three survived. All that remains of the once flourishing community is the cemetery, the synagogue building that has been converted into a church, and a memorial that was erected to the concentration camp victims. A damaged Torah scroll from Rexingen is preserved in a memorial hall in Shavei Zion in Israel.

bibliography:

L. Marx, Shavej Zion (Ger., 1963); P. Sauer, Die juedische Gemeinde in Wuerttemberg… (1966), index; V. Jeggle, Judendoerfer in Wuerttemberg (1969), index. add. bibliography: R. Adler et al., Lebensspuren auf dem juedischen Friedhof in Rexingen, in Stein gehauen. Dokumentation des Friedhofs und des Schicksals der 300 Jahre in Rexingen ansaessigen juedischen Gemeinde (Juedische Friedhoefe in der Stadt Horb, vol. 1) (1997). website: www.alemannia-judaica.de.

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