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SCHWEINFURT (Hebrew, ):

Town in Lower Franconia. The first mention of its Jews dates from the year 1243, when Henry of Bamberg ordered 50 marks in silver to be paid them. In 1263 the murder of a seven-year-old Christian girl was attributed to the Jews, and it was only by the mayor's active interference that a persecution of them by the rabble was prevented. It developed later that the child had been murdered in one of the factional quarrels of the town. In common with those of other Franconian towns, the Jews of Schweinfurt suffered much from the persecutions in 1298 and 1349. They were severely affected in 1390 also, when Wenceslaus IV. annulled all debts owing to them, and in 1544, when the schools were closed and the Jewish advocate Jud Hesel in vain endeavored to bring about their reopening.

Schweinfurt is now (1905) the seat of the "Landes-rabbiner" (present chief rabbi, Dr. S. Stein), its Jews numbering 415 in a total population of about 12,500; and it has four benevolent societies. The total number of Jews in the district is 1,500, of which the town of Gerolzhofen has 148, that of Wiederwerrn 140, and that of Theilheim 116.

Bibliography:
  • Aronius, Regesten, pp. 232, 286;
  • Wiener, 'Emeḳ ha-Baka, p. 44;
  • Regesten, pp. 176, 177;
  • Salfeld, Martyrologium, pp. 233, 271, 275, 281;
  • Heffner, Juden in Franken, p. 37;
  • Statistisches Jahrbuch, 1903, s.v.
J. S. O.
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