Tulln (Judicial Districts Klosterneuburg, Tulln, Atzenbrugg, Kirchberg am Wagram)

Synagogue built in: 1859
Community members: 1870 - 52; 1890 - 91; 1910 - 118; 1934 - 72; 1938 - 92
Pogrom Night: Closed down
Today: Private property
Summary: The oldest documented proof of the existence of a Jewish community in Tulln dates back to 1267. The town’s Jewish ghetto during the Middle Ages, referred to as the Judenschule (Jews’ School) in documents of the time, was located where the District Court building stands today. The medieval synagogue was located in the center of the Jewish quarter. The Jews of Tulln were targeted by rioters during the brutal anti-Jewish persecutions of 1420/1421, referred to by historians as the Wiener Gezerah (Viennese Edict). In the centuries which followed, only a few Jews lived in Tulln; a consequence of repeated expulsion orders and prohibitions against Jews working in certain professions.

Greater numbers of Jews, coming from Bohemia, Moravia, Poland and Hungary as well as other areas ruled by the Austrian monarchy, came to Tulln in the second half of the 19th century. As early as 1859, the town’s Jewish community established a prayer hall, consisting of two rooms, one for men and the other for women, on the upper floor of a building at 6 Albrechtsgasse.

The year 1885 saw the inauguration of the Tulln Jewish community’s own cemetery on Paracelsusgasse. In 1890, the community joined the Jewish Congregation of Klosterneuburg and founded the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Tulln mit dem Amtssitze in Klosterneuburg (The Jewish Congregation of Tulln with an Official Office in Klosterneuburg).

The systematic persecution of Jews began immediately after the Nazis took power in Austria in March 1938. Local Nazi and SA officials forced Jews to clean graffiti from the streets and walls with their bare hands or with toothbrushes, using highly toxic substances. Jewish property was confiscated. The synagogue on Albrechtsgasse closed down as early as March 1938. Tulln’s municipal council forbade Jews to appear in the streets and public places at any time other than between 8 and 10 am.

On Pogrom Night, November 9/10, 1938, the Tulln SS destroyed the Jewish cemetery. Eleven Jews from Tulln and the surrounding area were placed in “protective” custody. Jewish stores and residences were pillaged.

Forty-seven of the 92 Jews still living in Tulln in 1938 managed to emigrate by the end of 1941. Many of the town’s Jewish residents moved to Vienna in 1938. Those Jews who remained in Tulln in March 1940 were forcibly sent to Vienna and from there to the extermination camps. A handful of Jews returned to Tulln after World War II.
Sources: - Genée, Pierre, Synagogen in Österreich, Wien 1992
- Schwarz, P., Tulln ist judenrein! Die Geschichte der Tullner Juden und ihr Schicksal von 1938 bis 1945: Verfolgung, Vertreibung, Vernichtung, Wien 1997