ANSBACH (sometimes Anspach):
By: A. Freimann
Ancient town of Bavaria, Germany; the capital of Middle Franconia, situated on the Rezat, twenty-five miles southwest of Nuremberg. There was a Jewish settlement here in 1328, but it was annihilated by the Flagellants in 1349. In the municipal records of Nuremberg, about the middle of the fourteenth century, the Jews of Ansbach are often mentioned, and a certain Joseph de Onolzbach is recorded among the creditors of John II. (1343). From the fact that a "Judengasse" (Jews' Street) is mentioned at Ansbach between the dates of 1470-72, one may conclude that a large Jewish community existed here at that time, although only seven Jewish taxpayers are found recorded in 1470. Men tion is also made in the records of a "Schulklopfer," or sexton, which shows that there must also have been a synagogue there. In 1564 the Jews were banished from Ansbach, and were only permitted to be there during the weekly and annual fairs. They were again heard of in 1643; for in that year a complaint was made that their presence was prejudicial to the Christian trade. The number of Jewish families in Ansbach in 1631 was 27. Among 8 Jews who in 1672 rendered homage to Margrave John Frederick here, there were 7 house-owners. The records for the year 1675 show that only 8 Jewish families with 57 persons dwelt in Ansbach at that time; in 1704 the number increased to 10 families; and by 1757 as many as 43 resided there. Notwithstanding the restrictions placed on their living in this city their number had risen to 60 families in 1789, and among them were 24 houseowners.
Until the year 1675 the Jews of Ansbach held divine service in a room in the house of Anton Model; but owing to dissensions a number of them separated and held their services at the house of Simon Model. Through the efforts of Isaac Nathan the community acquired a synagogue in 1746.
Among the notables who resided here from 1456 to 1458 the Judenmeister Pymann may be mentioned. About 1682 a rabbi of the name of Jeremiah Judah is mentioned. Of other rabbis there may be mentioned Samuel Zirndorfer (1754-92), Ullmann (1792-93), Hochheimer (1793-1835), Aaron B. Gruenbaum (1841-92), and Dr. P. Kohn (1900). In 1875 there were 200 Jews in Ansbach (Engelbert, "Statistik des Judenthums im Deutschen Reiche," p. 16), and in 1900, 295 out of a total population of 15,883. The congregation has a Jewish public school, attended by 40 children. The rabbinate of Ansbach has charge also of the communities in Colmberg, Egenhausen, Jochsberg, Lehrberg, Leutershausen, Obernzenn, and Dietenhofen.
- S. Haenle, Gesch. der Juden im Ehemaligen Fürstenthum Ansbach, Ansbach, 1867.