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Jewish Community of Augsburg, Germany

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  • Josel of Rosheim (c.1478 - 1554)
    "Josel of Rosheim (alternatively: Joselin, Joselmann, Yoselmann, German: Josel von Rosheim, Hebrew: יוסף בן גרשון מ&#...
  • Shimon Seligman ben Elieser Ulmo Ginzburg (1506 - 1585)
    Rabbi Simon ben Eliezer Ulmo Ginzburg (1506-1585) who also was a court Jew is a descendant from former Augsburg branch of the Kalonymos as well as the ancestor of the wide-spread family of Ulmo Ginzbur...
  • Jakob Weil - יעקב בן יהודה ווייל (MahariV) (c.1385 - c.1456)
    Early History of the Rabbinical Weil Family by Werner L. Frank Descendants of R. Jakob ben Yehuda Weil (c 1385 - 1456) Family Tree Chart Talmudist, the Mahari"V; Rabbi in Nuernberg, Augsburg, B...

Augsburg, city in Bavaria, Germany; a free imperial city from 1276 to 1806. Documentary evidence of Jews living in Augsburg dates from 1212. Records from the second half of the 13th century show a well-organized community, and mention the Judenhaus (1259), the synagogue and cemetery (1276), the ritual bathhouse, and "dancehouse" for weddings (1290).

The Jews were mainly occupied as vintners, cattledealers, and moneylenders. The Augsburg municipal charter of 1276, determining the political and economic status of the Jewish residents, was adopted by several cities in south Germany. During the *Black Death (1348–49), many were massacred and the remainder expelled from the city. The emperor granted permission to the bishop and burghers to readmit them in 1350 and 1355, and the community subsequently recovered to some extent.

Later, however, it became so impoverished by the extortions of the emperor that the burghers could no longer see any profit in tolerance. In 1434–36 Jews in Augsburg were forced to wear the yellow badge. The community, then numbering about 300 families, dissolved within a few years; by 1340 the last Jews had left Augsburg.

The Augsburg town council paid Albert II of Austria 900 gulden to compensate him for the loss of his servi camerae. Thereafter Jews were only permitted to visit Augsburg during the day on business. They were also granted the right of asylum in times of war. From the late 16th century Jewish communities existed in the close-by villages Pfersee, Kriegshaber, and, temporarily, Oberhausen.

In the late Middle Ages the Augsburg yeshivah made an important contribution to the development of the pilpul method of study and analysis of the Talmud. The variant of the pilpul method evolved in Augsburg is referred to as the "Augsburg ḥillukim."

The talmudist Jacob Weil lived in Augsburg between 1412 and 1438. While some Hebrew pamphlets were printed in Augsburg by Erhard Oeglin as early as 1514 on the initiative of the apostate J. Boeschenstein, a Hebrew press was established in 1532 by Ḥayyim b. David Shaḥor, the wandering printer from Prague, together with his son Isaac and son-in-law Joseph b. Yakar who had learned printing in Venice. Between that year and 1540 nine books appeared including Rashi's Pentateuch commentary (1533); an illustrated Passover Haggadah (1534); Jacob b. Asher's Turim (1536); a Melokhim Buch, in Yiddish (1543); a maḥzor; and a siddur.

In 1530 Joseph Joselmann of Rosheim convened a synod of German community representatives in Augsburg, the seat of the Reichstag. An organized Jewish community was again established in Augsburg in 1803. Jewish bankers settled there by agreement with the municipality in an endeavor to redress the city's fiscal deficit. In practice, the anti-Jewish restrictions in Augsburg were eliminated in 1806, with the abrogation of the city's special status and its incorporation into Bavaria; however, the new Jewish civic status was not officially recognized until 1861.

In 1871 Augsburg was the meeting place of a rabbinical assembly dealing with liturgical reform. The Jewish population increased from 56 in 1801 to 1,156 in 1900. It numbered 1,030 in 1933. In 1938, the magnificent synagogue, dedicated in 1917, was burned down by the Nazis.

In late 1941, after emigration and flight to other German cities, the last 170 Jews were herded into a ghetto, with 129 of them sent to Piaski in Poland in April 1942 and the rest mostly to the Riga ghetto and Theresienstadt. In the immediate postwar period, a camp was established in Augsburg to house displaced Jews.

A few weeks after the liberation, services were resumed in the badly damaged synagogue by survivors of the Holocaust and Jewish soldiers of the U.S. Army, and the community was eventually reestablished. The synagogue was restored and rededicated in 1985. As a result of the immigration of Jews from the Former Soviet Union, the number of community members rose from 199 in 1989 to 1,619 in 2003. Source

Notable Individuals

The Ulmo / Ginsburg Family of Pfersee, Augsburg

Pfersee is a part of the city of Augsburg, Bavaria. From 1560 until 1875 in Pfersee there was a famous Jewish community with a number of renowned chairmen, rabbis and scholars, mainly from the Ulmo (Ginsburg) family, who until the beginning of the 19th century was in possession of the so-called “Pfersee handwriting”, the oldest almost complete surviving handwritten edition of the Babylonian Talmud, dated from 14th century, which now is at the Bavarian State Library in Munich.

Links

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Media

  1. Augsburg | Discover Germany
  2. Beautiful Augsburg - YouTube

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