Hohenau

Synagogue built in: 1899
Earliest record of community: 1869
Last rabbi: Dr. Israel Taglicht
Community members: 1869 - 13 families
Pogrom Night: 1939 demolished
After 1945: Empty site
Today: Memorial
Summary: Approximately 20 Jewish families lived in Hohenau in the 17th century.

Records from 1638 mention a community synagogue, referred to as the “Judenschule” (Jewish school). In 1669, the Jews of Hohenau, like all the Jews of Austria, were driven out in accordance with an expulsion order from Emperor Leopold I.

It was not until the 1860s that Jews settled again in Hohenau. The village’s first modern-day Jewish residents came from southern Moravia and Slovakia. A prayer hall was established in the Fronek inn. Beginning in 1880, religious services were held at house number 345, the property of Kobi Fürst. In 1879, the Hohenau community inaugurated its own cemetery on the Wachtelgasse. Before then, Hohenau’s Jews had buried their dead in a Jewish cemetery in neighboring Slovakia.

In 1899, the Hohenau synagogue was build at 314-316 Dammgasse. Two large stone tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments were placed above the entrance. The Hohenau community later joined with the Jewish congregation in Mistelbach (founded in 1890). Thereafter Hohenau was served by rabbis from Vienna, among them Dr. Israel Taglicht.

The Hohenau synagogue was one of the very few to survive, undamaged, the Pogrom Night of November 9/10, 1938. The building was, however, demolished by the Nazis in 1939. Only the two tablets bearing the Ten Commandments have been preserved.

After World War II, only one Jew, Alfred Löbl, returned to Hohenau. His house and store were returned to him. The remaining Jewish property in the village was sold by the post-war Jewish congregation of Vienna, the legal successor of the Hohenau community. Today, a commemorative plaque in the village recalls the existence and the fate of Hohenau’s Jews.
Sources: - Genée, Pierre, Synagogen in Österreich, Wien 1992
- David, Jüdische Kulturzeitschrift in Österreich
- Marktgemeinde Hohenau (Hg.), Anton Schultes Heimatbuch der Marktgemeinde Hohenau a. d. March. Erweiterte Neuauflage der 1934 erschienenen Beiträge zur Heimatkunde von Hohenau. Bearbeitet und ergänzt von Robert Franz Zelesnik, Hohenau 1959