1933 – 1945

After January 30, 1933, when the National Socialists under Adolf Hitler had come to power and established a dictatorship, the persecution of the Jewish community of Breisach began, too.

Cantor Michael Eisemann tried to sustain the community’s religious life despite prohibitions and restrictions. Those who were able to emigrate were respected by him and the community. Eisemann gave a devotional book with his dedication to all the youth.

After the destruction of the synagogue on November 10, 1938, the community secretly installed a prayer room, a “Kahlstub,” on the first floor. Michael Eisemann died in early 1939, after he was released from the Dachau concentration camp, where he had been badly mistreated. His widow was able to flee to the USA via Frankfurt and Lisbon; both of their sons fled to Palestine.

During the evacuation of Breisach starting in September 1939 the community center was deserted. On October 22, 1940, two couples and a widow were arrested in the community center and, together with the other Jews of Breisach and more than 6,000 Jews from Baden and Palatinate, deported to the Gurs concentration camp in the south of France.