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GEBWEILER:

Town of Alsace, in the consistorial district of Colmar and rabbinate of Sulz. The first document referring to its Jewish community dates from 1270, and is now in the archives of Colmar (L. 16, 6). The synagogue is first mentioned in 1333. The Jews of Gebweiler suffered in the persecutions of 1349 ("R. E. J." iv. 27), and no Jews seem to have lived there during the next few centuries; but at the time of the Thirty Years' war three Jewish families received permission to settle temporarily in the town on payment of 20 reichsthaler per week, the open country being unsafe. In 1674 Gabriel Bloch was admitted on payment of 14 pfennigs protection-money and board for one horse for the town. When Wolf Wechsler, who signs himself in certain documents , sought permission from the government to settle at Gebweiler, the abbot, who did "not wish to force the Jew upon the town," left the matter to the magistrate for decision. In the discussion it was pointed out that Wechsler had rendered important services to the bishopric and to the town, and ought therefore to be admitted. Wechsler was director of the Jews of the upper free district (J. Weiss, "Geschichte und Rechtliche Stellung der Juden im Bistum Strasburg," p. 13).

In 1706 four Jewish families were living at Gebweiler, and in 1741 ten families; but in 1784 there were only seven families, aggregating 40 persons. In 1903 there were 83 families at Gebweiler, including the suburb of Lauterbach. The congregation has three charitable societies. Its present synagogue was built in 1870-71; its dead are buried in the cemetery of Jungholz.

D. M. Gi.
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