The Jewish community in Mühlen

Building plan of the synagogue in Mühlen.
Building plan of the synagogue in Mühlen.

In 1800, the first Jewish families were admitted to the imperial knightly village of Mühlen by Baron von Münch, in exchange for money. The Jewish population reached its highest level in 1852 with 165 members, 22.7% of the total population.

From 1811 on, they had a synagogue and from 1833, a Jewish school. The teacher’s apartment and the ritual bath were in the school. The families were poor, the men working as hawkers, butchers, soap-boilers or small cattle-dealers.

Towards the end of the 19th century the community shrank in numbers. Many families moved to Horb where they had better opportunities. In 1921, the Jewish community was dissolved. The synagogue was sold and converted into a residence which is still there today in 5 Rottenburger Strasse.

The Jewish cemetery in Mühlen

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The site of the cemetery above the village at the edge of the forest first belonged to Baron von Münch who was given money for every burial. In 1870, he sold it to the Jewish community. There are over 500 burial plots in the cemetery. During the Nazi regime many tombstones were destroyed, knocked down, broken, and the memorial slabs were ripped out.

An unusual feature is the presence of graves of Jewish patients from sanatoriums in Schömberg, Calmbach and Neuenbürg. From 1915 to 1934, at least eight people from Poland, Russia, Latvia. Austria and other places of origin were buried here.