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TALHEIM , village in Wuerttemberg. Jewish refugees from *Heilbronn settled in Talheim in 1437. At the end of the 15th century, Jews from Talheim were permitted to trade at markets in Heilbronn, although they were not allowed to stay overnight. In the middle of the 16th century Jews were permitted to settle in Heilbronn; a number remained in Talheim, where most made their living as moneylenders. Their major occupation later became trading in livestock, although in 1729 the Count of Flein prohibited his subjects from trading in livestock with Jews from Talheim. The effects of the Thirty Years' War depleted the number of Jews, but Jews continued to live in Talheim until the middle of the 18th century.

In 1778 four Jewish families came to the village from nearby Horkheim and established themselves in an old castle (thereafter termed "Judenschloss") in the western part of the town. The Jewish settlement was under the jurisdiction of the dukedom of Wuerttemberg, then liberally disposed toward the Jews. Their entry was resented by the burghers in the eastern portion of the town, under the separate jurisdiction of Christopher von Gemmingen. When a new prayer room for the Jewish community was to be dedicated in 1793, they stormed the building, confiscated the sacred objects, and held them until 1803. The entire town came under the jurisdiction of Wuerttemberg in 1806, and Jews were no longer restricted to their small area of settlement. The number of Jews had grown to 40 in 1790, to 62 in 1828, and 122 in 1860. In 1832 the Jewish community of Talheim was included in a district that encompassed Sontheim and Horkheim. From 1849, the community was independent until its dissolution in 1939. The building that housed the prayer room was enlarged and converted into a synagogue in 1836. A mikveh and a school were added in 1851, and a school building was constructed in 1857.

From 1873 on, the community began to decline, partly due to a large emigration to the United States. There were only 82 Jews left in 1933. Nazi discriminatory legislation stimulated emigration still further. On Nov. 10–11, 1938, storm troopers demolished the interior of the synagogue. In 1941–42 the 32 Jews left in the town were deported to concentration camps; none returned after the war. During the war the synagogue was used as a prison, and in 1952 it was finally demolished. In 1983 a plaque was mounted to commemorate the former Jewish community and the synagogue.


T. Nebel, Die Geschichte der juedischen Gemeinde in Talheim (1963); P. Sauer, Die juedischen Gemeinden in Wuerttemberg und Hohenzollern (1966), 173–6. add bibliography: W. Angerbauer and H. Frank, Juedische Gemeinden in Kreis und Stadt Heilbronn (Schriftenreihe des Landkreises Heilbronn, vol. 1) (1986) 230–35; Germania Judaica, vol. 3 (1987), 1448–49; T. Nebel and S. Daeschler-Seiler, Die Geschichte der juedischen Gemeinde in Talheim (19902). website: www.alemannia-judaica.de.

[Alexander Shapiro]