The four Saxon duchies are those of Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Saxe-Meiningen, and Saxe-Weimar.Saxe-Altenburg:
Duchy in Thuringia; an independent division of the German empire. It has a total population of 194,914, of whom only 40 are Jews.Saxe-Coburg-Gotha:
Duchy in Thuringia; an independent division of the German empire. It has a total population of 229,550, of whom 580 are Jews, Coburg having 200 and Gotha 350.Saxe-Meiningen:
Duchy in Thuringia; an independent division of the German empire. Jews are mentioned in connection with Saxe-Meiningen as early as the first half of the fourteenth century. On Good Friday, April 10, 1349, a Christian girl proclaimed in a church that, on passing the synagogue at the northern city gate, she had heard the Jews agreeing to attack and plunder the Christians during the Easter festival. Some of the Jews were thrown into prison; and at the order of Bishop Albert of Würzburg they and their wives and children were burned at the stake on July 17 following. After the expulsion of the Jews the synagogue remained closed for twenty-two years, when it was transformed into the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene. A Jew named Gutkind of Hildburghausen had business relations with the counts of Henneberg. In 1348 the Jews were expelled from Sangershausen; and they are not again mentioned there until 1431, when the town was destroyed by fire. A "Judengasse," later called "Jakobstrasse," existed in the town until 1858. In 1904 the Jewish population of Saxe-Meiningen numbered 1,487, the total general population being 250,731. The town of Meiningen has 433 Jews, ẉho maintain a relief society for indigent travelers, a ḥebra, ḳaddisha, and a women's society. Hildburghausen has 90 Jews, and Walldorf-on-the-Werra has 72. L. Fränkel is the present (1905) "Landesrabbiner."Saxe-Weimar:
Duchy in Thuringia; independent division of the German empire. On June 30, 1823, an edict was issued abolishing the Leibzoll in the duchy, but declaring that the Jews should, nevertheless, be afforded protection. The edict required them to keep lists of births, marriages, and deaths, and to assume family names; rabbis excepted, Jews not belonging to the duchy were not to be admitted; those already settled there were allowed to engage in all occupations except those of brewing, butchering, baking, and innkeeping; the "Jews' oath" appears to have been modified, but not abolished. In 1833 a new edict was issued which provided that the German language should be used for all prayers, prohibited the recitation of "Kol Nidre,"and required a prayer for the grand duke to be offered at every divine service.
The duchy has a total population of 362,873, including 1,290 Jews. Eisenach has 422 Jews; Geisa, 131; and Weimar, 90. The present "Landesrabbiner" is Dr. Salzer of Lengefeld.
- Rahmer's Jüd. Lit.-Blatt, 1883, No. 19; 1875, No. 18;
- Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibl. 1869, p. 149;
- Zeitschrift für Gesch. und Wissenschaft des Judenthums, iv. 288-290;
- Statistisches Jahrbuch, 1904, s.v. Sachsen.