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Jewish communities in Bavarian Swabia (Bayrisch Schwaben)

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This is an umbrella project for Jewish Communities in Germany. The goal is to add profiles to each of the relevant town projects. Please join the project (using the Actions menu) and link all related projects to this page. Project collaborators can edit the project, start discussions, add photos and documents etc.

Bavarian Swabia (also known simply as "Schwaben") is a region located in the south-western corner of Bavaria, near the border with Württemberg. For hundreds of years, until the holocaust, it was a home for about 40 Jewish communities.

A short historical review of this region, from the JGBS site: The so called "Medinat Schwaben" [Rohrbacher 1995] forms a unique Jewish-German cultural landscape which experienced its zenith in the first half of the 19th century. Map of Schwaben The majority of Jewish communities belonged to one of two distinct political entities: the margraviate of Burgau south of the Danube and the earldom of Oettingen to its north. The political conflicts between the house Hapsburg, the local gentry and the civic leadership in the case of Burgau [Ullmann 1999] and the interconfessional strife between the Catholic and Protestant branches of the Oettingens provided the Jewish communities with enough "wiggle room" to ease their precarious struggle for existence.

The Jewish communities formed part of villages within these political entities which were comprised of Jews, Catholics and Protestants. In some of those villages Jews occasionally even formed a numerical majority. The Jewish communities maintained a tight network of familial and cultural interconnections extending to communities in adjacent regions, such as Wassertrüdingen in Unterfranken as well as Laupheim and Buchau in Baden-Wuerttemberg. In view of its particular history and geography "Medinat Schwaben" should be considered as a unit by Jewish genealogists.

The Jewish communities of Bavarian Swabia:

  • Altenstadt-Illereichen
  • Augsburg
  • Kriegshaber
  • Pfersee
  • Binswangen
  • Buttenwiesen
  • Ederheim
  • Fellheim
  • Fischach
  • Hainsfarth
  • Hürben
  • Harburg
  • Ichenhausen
  • Kempten
  • Kleinerdlingen
  • Memmingen
  • Mönchsdeggingen
  • Nördlingen
  • Oettingen
  • Osterberg
  • Schlipsheim
  • Steinhart
  • Steppach
  • Wallerstein

Historical communities, which were expelled in earlier times:

  • Bissingen
  • Burgau
  • Donauwörth
  • Höchstadt a.d. Donau
  • Lauingen
  • Lindau
  • Neuburg a.d. Kammel
  • Thannhausen

Modern (19/20 century) Jewish presence:

  • Bad Wörishofen
  • Günzburg
  • Marktoberdorf
  • Mindelheim
  • Neu-Ulm

Genealogical resources:

  • The Jewish Genealogy in Bavarian Swabia (JGBS) website, which includes a lot of genealogical information:

  • Alemannia Judaica

Cemeteries: []

Jewish communities: Schwaben


  • JewishGen

List of Jewish communities, and some population figures: BAYERN_f23~ZZ~MILES~~~~~SE~~