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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Linz

Middle Ages with synagogue - expulsion of 1421 - partial readmittance in 1494 - new restrictions at the end of 17th century - open markets since 1783 - cultural life since 1824 - emigration movement 1923-1938 - order for Vienna for 65 Jews - new Jewish community since 1945

from: Linz; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 11

presented by Michael Palomino (2007)

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capital of Upper Austria.

[Middle Ages: synagogue - rumors - expulsion in 1421 - synagogue turned into a church in 1426]

 Jewish moneylenders are recorded in Linz in 1304; a Jewish settlement in the growing market town is probably a century oder.

In 1335 a synagogue is mentioned; two Jews were baptized a year earlier. Jews were accused of desecrating the *Host in 1338. Although the community was not harmed during the *Black Death persecutions of 1348, a local persecution occurred in 1371. In 1396 Duke Albert IV permitted Jews to conduct only fiscal transactions with the burghers; the decree was renewed in 1412. The Jews were expelled from Linz in 1421, and in 1426 the synagogue was turned into a (col. 261)


[Partial readmittance in 1494 - fairs forbidden at the end of 17th century - open markets for Jews since 1783 - cultural life since 1824]

Jews were permitted to attend the biannual markets in the town  in 1494, and Jewish horse dealers and feather and wool merchants, mainly from Moravia, continued to trade at the fairs until their entry was forbidden at the end of the 17th century. Only in 1783 were the markets officially declared open and in 1824 the Jews opened their own prayer room.

A cemetery was consecrated in 1863, when the modern community was established. In 1869 there were 391 Jews (1.3% of the total population) and 533 in 1880. A new synagogue was opened in 1877 by Rabbi Adolf *Kurrein (1876-82), publicist and author. His son, Rabbi Viktor Kurrein (1923-38), wrote the history of the community.

[Sinking numbers of Jews from 1923 to 1938 from 1,238 to 65 - massive emigration movement]

In 1923 there were 1,238 Jews in Linz,

671 in 1934 (0.6%),

and in 1938, before the Anschluss [[annexation by German NS troops]] 650.

[[Now, since spring 1938, the Nazi government in Vienna organized emigration of many Jews together with the racist anti-Muslim Zionist organizations. Other Jews fled  for example to Italy or to Switzerland. So, only 65 Jews remained by November 1938]].

On Nov. 10, 1938, the synagogue was burned down by the S.S.; the 65remaining Jews were arrested and ordered to leave within three days for Vienna. The Nazis claimed that the Jews must leave the town because it was the capital of the province of Hitler's birth. Jewish shops were not looted because they had already been "Aryanized".

[1945-1970: New Jewish community]

Shortly after the end of the war, 2,400 Jewish refugees were housed in the nearby Bindermichen camp. A new community was reorganized, which numbered 238 in 1949 and 145 in 1961. In October 1957, an anti-Semitic demonstration was sparked off by a performance of "The Diary of Anne Frank". Protests against a ban on sheḥitah [[Jewish method of slaughtering]] were lodged in 1958. A new synagogue was consecrated in 1968.


-- commemorative publication for inauguration of the new synagogue in Linz (orig. German: Festschrift anlaesslich der Einweihung des neu erbauten Bethauses in Linz)  (1968)
-- V. Kurrein: The Jews in Linz (orig. German: Die Juden in Linz) (1927)
-- idem, in: Menorah (1927), 309-44;
-- idem, in: JGGJC, 2 (1930), 497-500; 4 (1932), 481-4
-- idem, in: Jewish Archives (orig. German: Juedisches Archiv), 1 no. 5-6 (1928), 3-7
-- Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 490-1
-- L. Moses: The Jews in Lower Austria (orig. German: Die Juden in Niederoesterreich) (1935), 185-6, no. 274, 279
-- H.H. Rosenkranz: Crystal Night of November 9, 1938 in Austria (orig. German: Reichskristallnacht - 9. November 1938 in Österreich) (1968), 51;
-- PK Germanyah.

[H.W.]> (col. 262)

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Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Jews in
                            Linz, vol. 11, col. 261-262
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Jews in Linz, vol. 11, col. 261-262

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