49°22' N, 09°03' E, 27 miles ESE of Mannheim, 18 miles NNW of Heilbron, in Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis, N Baden-Württemberg. Jewish population: 146 (in 1842), 20 (in 1933).
- Encyclopedia of Jewish Life (2001), p. 150: "Binau".
- Pinkas HaKehilot, Germany, Vol. 2 (1986), p. 271: "Binau"
- JewishGen GerSIG
CEMETERY: landmarked Jewish cemetery photo:"The 1851 Jewish cemetery at Reichenbucher Straße (100 Meter westlich vom christlichen Friedhof entfernt) (100 meters west of the Christian cemetery) (area 7.74 Ar ) and actively used until 1938.In 1986 70 gravestones remained visible. In 1944, the cemetery was used by the Nazis for the concentration camp Neckarelz and the subcamp Neckargerach converted. About 200 who died in the mine shafts of the underground arms factory in Obrigheim were buried there from October 1944 to March 1945. After 1945, many of the concentration camp victims were moved to their homes. Today, in the Jewish cemetery is a memorial to the perished in Mosbach and Obrigheim prisoners and forced laborers from several European countries (particularly from France and Poland).. Jewish cemetery and concentration camp cemetery [Feb 2013]
LOCATION OF CEMETERY: Reichenbucher Strasse 7
Entrance to the Jewish cemetery in Binau .[Feb 2013]
IN USE: from about 1835 to 1938 (oldest surviving gravestone dated 1851)
NUMBER OF GRAVESTONES:
- 70 (also wooden crosses for non-Jewish French prisoners of war.
- overall photographic view by Hundsnurscher/Taddey 1968 Illustration No. 19.
- overall photographic view by Theobald 1964, page 91.
- photograph of synagogue, cemetery at Leo Baeck Institute: Jewish community collection; Storage-location: second floor; Donors: William Wertheimer, 1973.; Period covered (or date of publication): 1973; Size of the collection: 5 items; Accession Number(s): AR 4071.
SOURCES: University of Heidelberg and Alemannia Judaica.
- A Jewish community with a synagogue, respectively a prayer room, existed around 1770. On the 18th May 1778 the president of the Jewish community applied to the Office of the Principality for permission to implement their contract with Rabbi Samuel Moises of Heinsheim. Under the terms of the contract the Rabbi was to visit Binau twice a year to give a sermon, for a remuneration of 2 Gulden 24 Kreuzer. For religious ceremonies, such as a wedding, the Binauers went to Heinsheim. Seven Jewish families lived in Binau in 1782. With their oldest sons and, in the case with some families, accompanied by farm hands, the required number of 10 men were present to enable religious services to be held.
- The synagogue, respectively the prayer room, had become dilapidated by 1792 and had to be pulled down. In March of that year the Jewish community applied to Count Riaucour for additional funding for the new school (synagogue) which was by then already under construction in Reichenbucher Strasse 7. This house also contained an apartment for the teacher and a classroom. During the Napoleonic war, around 1810, soldiers were billeted in the synagogue, which lead to lengthy discussions because the local church was not used for this purpose. The Jewish argument was based on the fact that this action contravened the religious freedom granted by the local principality. The latter argued that because the synagogue building also contained an apartment, the billeting action was fully justified. A small financial arrangement in 1810, annulling an annual payment by the Jewish community to the principality of 6 Gulden, known as the Judenschuldgeld (a tax payable by Jews), settled this issue.
- In a report in 1860 by the chairman of the local District Council, the rooms in the synagogue building were described as "defective and inadequate" requiring the construction of a new building. The report added that the building costs involved would have to be borne by the local community as a whole, in the same way as would be the case for a protestant school. The Jewish community had already launched an appeal for funds in neighbouring Jewish communities, which amounted to only 160 Gulden. The rebuilding project had to be held in abeyance because the estimate for the new building came to between 4000/5000 Gulden to which the local (non-Jewish) community was not able to contribute more than 700/800 Gulden. During the ensuing years many Jews left Binau, which led to the eventual abandonment of rebuilding project, in favour of periodic repairs and refurbishments.
- The building was damaged during the November 1938 pogroms by ‘out-of-town' Nazi SA-gangs. After 1945 the building housed the local post office and one apartment. Reichenbucher Strasse 7 now has only apartments.
- The cemetery contains a commemorative plaque for the detainées and forced labour inmates from the Natzweiler concentration camp's outposts in Neckargerach and Neckarelz (Hahn 1988, pages 379-380), who were buried here.
[Researched and translated from German December 2007]
To see information and photographs of individual gravestones in cemeteries in Baden-Wuerttemberg, click on this link and follow the directions on that page.