PFASTATT: (Haut-Rhin département, Alsace région) Print
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Also see MULHOUSE Briefly, in the 14th century, in Alsace, thanks to strict rules of hygiene requring boiling well water, the Jews were spared a serious epidemic of Plague. Facing jealousy, misunderstanding from their neighbors, hunted, and persecuted, they regrouped into other villages, perhaps more hospitable. That's how they founded an important community in Pfastatt. Of 50 Jews in 1660, they grew to 102 in 1787and to 158 persons in 1806. After the Revolution, they created an autonomous school in the village and accepted a contribution from the village in the same capacity as the other schools. Toward the middle of the 18th century, a synagogue received the faithful in Pfastatt. Then in 1900, another building was constructed on the site of the florist Strich. This building was demolished in 1946. The Pfastattois Jews became mostly peddlers then, installed their trading in the village. Butchers, traders of livestock, bakers, traders of iron and metals, cordons, workers with plants, the Jews were integral to the village community of Pfastatt. Elders remember definitely: Mr Bernheim trader of grains, trader of cloths, butcher... Living together, mindful of mutual aid led by a religious community, some residents of Pfastatt remember lighting or maintaining firse in Jewish homes the day before Shabbat. Numerous Jews frequently attended sports or musical societies of the village. Others were local councilmen. In 1927, the Jewish almshouse, in origin, an almshouse-hospital founded in May 1863 in Mulhouse was transferred to Pfastatt. Later called Residence Hirschler, it became established at Hunold, rue de la Republic. Surrounding villages and Mulhouse in most cases lifted their ban of residence by Jews. They began leaving the village towards the end of the 19th century with only families, dealers, well established in the village remaining. They left Pfastatt, closing their trade in 1940 during the German Occupation. Until 1940, the village had a significant Jewish community well integrated in the life of the village. In the middle of the 18th century a synagogue was constructed on fields in the centre of the village, nowadays owned by MM. Strich and Oberlin. In 1900, a new place of worship was established and dedicated in 1901. Fulfilling its purpose until 1934, it was demolished by 1946. Purportedly, a cemetery exists. [January 2008]