views updated


TUEBINGEN , city in S. Germany. The first mention of Jews in Tuebingen concerns a short-term guarantee in 1335 by the counts of Tuebingen, who sold the city to *Wuerttemberg in 1342, to their "burghers: clerics, laymen, Jews or Christians." The Judengasse was south of the town's bridge and is fortuitously mentioned only in 1398, but it dates probably from a much earlier period. A 1458 source, of which only a résumé is extant, speaks of the privileges of the Tuebingen Jews. In 1459 they were accused of charging higher interest than specified therein. The two major creditors, Kaufman and his wife Bela, were imprisoned by 14-year-old Count Eberhard v of Wuerttemberg, but they were released by his guardian Count Ulrichv of Wuerttemberg, who ordered a three-year debt moratorium and interest annulment. In 1460 he helped them to move, under favorable terms, to the Black Forest town of Wildberg, and two other Jewish families followed them to this town. By 1471 five Jewish families remained in Tuebingen. The founding of the university at Tuebingen in 1477 occasioned the expulsion of the Jews from the city and a ban against doing any business there.

In 1815 the first Jewish student, Samuel Harum Mayer, was admitted to the university by special permission of the Wuerttemberg king; Jewish students were admitted generally from 1821. In the nearby village of Wankenheim, a Jewish community of peddlers and *livestock merchants started in 1775; a synagogue was built there in 1833, and a cemetery was acquired in 1845. By 1852 the Wankenheim Jews began moving to Tuebingen, a process nearly completed in 1882 when a synagogue was consecrated in the city; like the cemetery, it was used by Jews of Reutlingen and several other towns and villages. Seventy-five Jews lived in Tuebingen in 1875; 139 in 1910 (0.73 percent of the total population); and 90 in June 1933. The attorney Simon Hayum had a municipal position prior to 1933. With the rising of Nazism, a general boycott of Jewish establishments was initiated, and Jewish students had to leave the university. (The law office of Simon Hayum was maintained until November 1938.) Twenty Jews moved elsewhere after 1933, and 50 emigrated between 1933 and 1940. The synagogue was burned in November 1938, and the community was dissolved in 1939. Fourteen Jews were deported to the east in 1941–43.

[Toni Oelsner]

Contemporary Period

In 1968, eight Jews lived in Tuebingen. They were affiliated with the community in *Stuttgart. The university's theological faculty had an *Institutum Judaicum that conducted seminars and lectures, and published Judaistic works. The philosopher Ernst *Bloch taught from 1956 at Tuebingen University. In 1978/79 a memorial was inaugurated to commemorate the destroyed synagogue and the former Jewish community. In 2000 a new memorial was consecrated. About 1% of the members of the Jewish community of Wuerttemberg (2,881 members in 2004) live in Tuebingen.

[Toni Oelsner /

Larissa Daemmig (2nd ed.)]


M. Crusius, Schwaebische Chronick, tr. from Latin by J.J. Moser (1733), 72f.; R. Roth, Urkunden zur Geschichte der Universitaet Tuebingen 14761550 (1877), 72f.; Wuerttembergi sches Staatsarchiv, Wuerttembergische Regesten (1916–40), nos. 159, 1466, 1499; Feiertagsschrift israelitische Kultusvereinigung Wuertemberg (Sept. 1964), 34; A. Marx, ibid. (Oct. 1967), 23f.; P. Sauer (ed.), Dokumente ueber die Verfolgung der juedischen Buerger in Baden-Wuerttemberg (1966), index; idem, Die juedischen Gemeinden in Wuerttemberg (1967); Germania Judaica, 2 (1968), 835–7; 3 (1987), 1489–90. add. bibliography: L. Zapf, Die Tuebinger Juden (19813); Zerstoerte Hoffnungen. Wege der Tuebinger Juden (Beitraege zur Tuebinger Geschichte, vol. 8) (1995); B. Schoenhagen and W. Setzler, Ju edisches Tuebingen. Schauplaetze und Spuren (Orte juedischer Kultur) (1999). website: www.alemannia-judaica.de.