Gaenserndorf (Gänserndorf)

Synagogue built in: 1890
Earliest record of community: 1866
Last rabbi: Dr. Isidor Friedmann
Community members: 1869 - 30; 1890 - 97; 1938 - 540 (complete community); April 30th 1939 - 434 (complete community); May 14th 1939 - 25 (complete community)
Pogrom Night: Expropriated and profaned
After 1945: Handed over to the IKG Vienna and sold to the municipal authorities
Today: School for music
Summary: Jews settled in Gänserndorf in 1860, after the Austrian Ministry of Interior revoked a decree forbidding Jews to live in the provinces. In 1869, the small but steadily growing Jewish community established a temporary prayer house at 54 Hauptstraße. As early as 1866, the community’s board asked the larger Jewish community in Vienna to provide a Torah scroll for the Gänserndorf prayer house.

In May 1884, Gänserndorf’s Jewish congregation established a Minjanverein (Minyan Association) and applied to the district authorities of Enzersdorf for permission to build a synagogue. Building work on the structure at 60 Bahnstraße was completed in 1890. Another prayer house was located in an area called Lassee.

Jews in two neighboring villages belonged to Gänserndorf congregation: in the 1870s, approximately 130 Jews lived in Deutsch-Wagram, where they established a prayer house. The Jews of Angern an der March, on the border with Hungary (after 1918, Slovakia), had no synagogue of their own. They therefore regularly attended the synagogue in the Hungarian and later Slovak area called Ungareigen (later Uhorska Ves), which was a few minutes away by foot.

The Gänserndorf Kultusgemeinde (congregation) was officially founded as late as 1907. The Jewish cemetery, still in existence today, was inaugurated in the same year. A rabbi, who spent most of his working time in Vienna, catered to the spiritual needs of the Jewish congregations in Gänserndorf and nearby Gross-Enzersdorf. Dr. Moses Rosenmann, from Floridsdorf, took office in 1908. It appears that he was succeeded by Heinrich Nürnberger. Dr. Isidor Friedmann, the last Gänserndorf rabbi, served the community from 1921 until 1938.

After the Anschluss (the annexation of Austria by Germany), the Jews of Gänserndorf were forced to leave town. Local Nazis seized the synagogue and removed its two Stars of David. The synagogue was desecrated and later used for profane purposes.

After World War II, the synagogue building was handed over to the post-war Jewish congregation of Vienna, the legal successors of the Gänserndorf community. The Viennese Jews sold the former synagogue to the municipal authorities. On May 9, 2001, a commemorative plaque was affixed to the former synagogue.