The history of the Coburg Jews

First evidence of Jewish life

Jewish life in Coburg dates back to the middle of the 13th century. Documentation suggesting the existence of a Jewish community dates back to 1301.

Historical edifice

First documented  mention of the “Judentor” or Jewish Gate.

Plague Years

The Bubonic Plague During  the plague years, severe pogroms occur in many places, although there is no concrete evidence of such pogroms in Coburg.

The Margrave’s permission to settle

The sovereign Margrave Friedrich III of Meissen permits an unlimited amount of Jewish citizens to settle in Coburg, granting legal protection and interest guarantees.

Continued settlement

The influx of Jewish citizens continued after the death of the Margrave under the reign of his widow Katharina. It is possible to see this as an indirect reference to the dwindling numbers of Jewish citizens in the Coburg area during the years preceding the Margrave’s rule.

Medieval synagogue

A street called the "Judengasse" is officially mentioned for the first time. Thus, within the city walls, a separate Jewish residential area in the vicinity of the Judentor is attested to including a synagogue (from 1395) and a Jewish school depicted on the Coburg Pentateuch of 1395.

Disintegration of the Jewish community in Coburg

The Würzburg Bishop Johann II von Brunn issues a ban on interest and forbids all financial dealings  with Jewish citizens . In the following decades, the community gradually disintegrates. Sincethis time , Jewish people  have only sporadically lived in Coburg.

Permission to settle

Duke Franz allows two Jewish merchants, Joseph and Salomon Simon, who come from the nearby town of Hildburghausen, to settle inCoburg . In the following decades, continued Jewish settlement is permitted .


The Coburg Parliament decides on the legal equality of Jewish people.


The Jewish population of Coburg grows to 68 people.

Foundation of a religious Jewish community

A Jewish Community is founded. With it, the Jewish cemetery on the Glockenberg is established. The city cedes the St. Nicholas Chapel to the community for use. It serves as a synagogue for the community from then on.

Association of Jewish Communities in Bavaria

The community joins the Association of Jewish Communities in Bavaria.

Continued growth

There are 316 Jewish people living in Coburg. The percentage of the total population reaches  1.5 percent.

Swastika flag at City Hall

On January 18, 1931, under the mayor Franz Schwede, the swastika flag is hoisted at Coburg's city  hall, making this building he first official building in Germany to fly a Nazi flag.

In June 1931, the journal of the Central-Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith) writes: "As is well known, things are the worst in Coburg, [...]. The long-established Jewish population lives under terror. It is boycotted socially as well as economically."

Termination of the lease

The city of Coburg terminates the lease agreement for the Jewish community’s use of the St. Nicholas Chapel as of December 31, 1932.

The Night of Broken Glass

On the night of November 9 to 10 (the “Kristallnacht” or “Reichsprogromnacht”), several Jewish stores are damaged and looted. In the morning hours of November 10, Jewish citizens are rounded up and led through the city.

The men are detained in the gym on the town green . 16 Jewish citizens  are to be transported to the Dachau concentration camp on November 11, but the camp is overcrowded. The Jewish people of Coburg are therefore sent to the prison in the nearby city of Hof. The last stores owned by Jewish citizens are forced to close at the end of the year.

Death camp

A total of 37 Jewish Coburg citizens are deported from Coburg to the death camps in eastern Europe.