SCHNAITTACH , village in Bavaria, Germany. Although a Jew is first mentioned in 1498 at a trial in Schnaittach, some Jews presumably settled there long before that date. In 1505 an organized community is documented which by 1529 maintained a rabbi, a synagogue, and a cemetery (the oldest Jewish tombstone is from 1423). Six to 12 families resided there in the 16th century. During the Thirty Years' War (1618–48) Schnaittach suffered frequent pillage. A number of 18th-century *Court Jews came from Schnaittach, among them Seligman Loew and Anschel Levi. In 1747 there were 49 tax-paying families. A new cemetery was opened in 1833, and the ancient synagogue was restored in 1858 and again in 1932. The Orthodox community reached its peak in 1837, numbering 262 (17.6% of the population) and then declined to 175 in 1867; 53 in 1900; and only 42 in 1933. On Nov. 10, 1938, during Kristallnacht, the synagogue was desecrated (scrolls and other sacred objects were rescued by some sa men), but its historical value saved it from arson. By January 1939 the community no longer existed. The community has continued to maintain three cemeteries, although there were no Jews residing in the village in 1971. From 1985 to 1996 the building complex of the former synagogue, the ritual bath, and the rabbi's and cantor's house were restored. Since then, it has housed a remarkable exhibition on rural Jewish life in south Germany, presented by the Jewish Museum of Franconia (which has sites in Fuerth and Schnaittach).
fjw, 283; pk Bavaria. add. bibliography: M. Hildesheimer, The History of the Kehilat Schnaittach, vol. 1–3 (1980); W. Tausendpfund and G. Wolf, Die juedische Gemeinde von Schnaittach (Mitteilungen. Altnuernberger Landschaft, vol. 30, 3) (1981); Germania Judaica, vol. 3 (1987), 1327–29; T. Harburger, Die Inventarisierung juedischer Kunstund Kulturdenkmaeler in Bayern, vol. 3 (1998), 677–87; B. Purin, Juedisches Leben in Schnaittach (1999); idem, Judaica aus der Medina Aschpah. Die Sammlung des Juedischen Museums Franken in Schnaittach (2003). websites : www.alemannia-judaica.de; www.juedisches-museum.org/schnaittach.html.
[Larissa Daemmig (2nd ed.)]