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Jewish Families from Berlichingen, Germany

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  • Lea Levi (1932 - 2022)
  • Rabbi Jakob Kaufmann (1783 - 1853)
    Jacob Kaufmann, "retired rabbi" in Laupheim, was born on 24 May 1783 in Berlichingen, from 1808 to 1820, he served as rabbi of the community directory, and then in Buchau of 1828-31. In Laupheim he was...
  • Judel Metzger (1803 - 1876)
    "Find A Grave Index," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 September 2021), Judel Metzger, ; Burial, Berlichingen, Hohenlohekreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Jüdischer Friedhof Berlichingen; citing record ID...
  • Rose Heinemann (1836 - 1907)
    "Deutschland, Baden, Erzbistum Freiburg, katholische Kirchenbücher, 1678-1930," database, FamilySearch ( : 14 May 2018), Bela Heidenheimer in entry for Maier Heinemann and Rosele Metzger, 6 Sep 1864; c...
  • Judith Buxbaum (1817 - d.)

Berlichingen, Schöntal, Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland

This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Berlichingen, Germany.


A municipality that makes up the town of Schontal

In 1972 Berlichingen was merged with the municipalities of Aschhausen, Bieringen, Marlach, Oberkessach, Schontal, Sindeldorf, and Westernhausen (and, in 1973, Winzenhofen) to form the municipality of Schontal.

Jews are first mentioned in records dating from 1632, when the village was ruled by the noble Berlichingen family and the Schoenthal Monastery. The Jews who were permitted to settle in the village were descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain. They were treated well but subject to paying high taxes. The congregation was established in 1632. A cemetery was consecrated that same year and also served the neighboring Jewish communities. Prayers were conducted in a private home; a synagogue was established during the mid-18th century.

The Jews worked as cattle, sheep, and fish merchants, as well as shopkeepers, peddlers, and moneylenders. Others worked as artisans, butchers, and innkeepers. Their activities during this time boosted the village's economy.

The first rabbi of Berlichingen was Rabbi Jacob Berlinger (served 1809-1834), a descendant of Rabbi Akiva Eiger. During that period Berlichingen was the headquarters of the district rabbinate, which included three other nearby Jewish communities. Later the district rabbinate was moved to Bad Mergentheim. The community was led for many years by Shimon Metzger.

The Jewish population reached its peak in 1854, with 249 people (about 16.3% of the general population) living in the town, as well as a small group of about 50 Jews who lived in neighboring Beiringen. After 1883 the Jewish population declined due to emigration and the rapid urbanization in south Germany during that period. At the turn of the 20th century there were 90 Jews living in Berlichingen.

During the First World War eleven community members served in the army; one was killed and four were wounded.

After the war, communal activities increased, and included a number of social and charitable organizations. An agricultural hachshara, one of the first such farms in Germany, was established on an estate near Berlichingen. In 1918 the first National Congress of the Zionist youth movement Blau-Weiss was held at Berlichingen. Weekly study groups on religious topics were held for adults, and children were taught religious subjects by the teacher Justin Schloss. A committee was also established to aid Jewish travelers.

In 1933 there were 68 Jews living in Berlichingen.


When the Nazis first rose to power in 1933 Jewish life in Berlichingen did not experience any significant disruptions. Justin Schloss was the community's leader during that time. The first sign of the troubles to come came in 1935, when the mayor of the town for the first time refused to supply the Jewish community with tree branches to build their Sukkot (tabernacles) for the holiday of Sukkot. Economic sanctions were soon imposed on the Jews, and by 1938 the number of Jews who were dependent on charity had grown significantly; some were helped by their Christian friends and neighbors. Nonetheless, local anti-Semitism grew noticeably, and a one point a German resident dragged a Jewish man through the streets like a cow.

The synagogue was destroyed during the Kristallnacht pogrom (November 9-10, 1938). The Torah scrolls were also burned, and Jewish homes and businesses were vandalized. Three prominent members of the community were arrested and sent to the Dachau concentration camp.

The congregation was officially dissolved in 1939. Of the 70 Jews who were living in Berlichingen at that point, 43 were able to emigrate, most to Palestine, the United States and Switzerland. Nearly all of the rest were killed in the Holocaust.


One Jew from Berlin came to Berlichingen after the war and remained the
(Beit-Atfutzot) JewishGen-Berlichingen]