Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Some Bechhofen/Bechhofer Trivia

From: Ralf Rossmeissl
To: Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer

Bechhofers had to take a surname by law in 1813.
They took the name Bechhoefer, because living in
the village of Bechhofen since 1682. Before the
family lived since 1604 in the little town of Herrieden
and before probably in Gunzenhausen.

Shalom, Ralf

"Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer" schrieb:

> Thank you for the information. How old is the town of Bechhofen itself?

> By the 1930's were there any Jews in Herrieden or Gunzenhausen?

The Jews of Herrieden were thrown out in 1682 and setteled back to Bechhofen.In Gunzenhausen was a pogrom 1933 (first antisemitic killings in Germany), 1934, 1938. Last Jews of the congregation fled end of 1938. All in all nearly 120 Gunzenhausen born Jews were killed and about 50 Jews from Bechhofen.


"Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer" schrieb:

> If I recall correctly, I am the person who first made the connection

> between you and my uncle, Jerry Bechhofer, a few years ago.

Exactly - I visited Jerry last week for dinner. Every time its wonderful to see the candles of Bechhofen still burning and also that there are Bechhoefers out in the world! Meanwhile the old bet olam in Bechhofen is closed to the public, so its very quiet around your common ancistors, who founded theplace in 1603.


1. explanation of the word Pech = pitch; Hofen = pot; place were pitch was poiled

2. explanation Bechthold = German tribes man named Bechthold; Hofen = homestead Homestead of the free Franconian German tribesman Bechthold In Franconian slang, since 1806 part of Bavaria, P = B, T = D, ..


  1. Gunzenhausen Jews:


  2. Pretty interesting.


    Similar thing happened in Bechhofen.

  3. http://www.alemannia-judaica.de/bechhofen_synagoge.htm

    The page is in German, with lots of good pictures. This is Google's translation:

    Segnende of hands of the Kohanim on a gravestone in bay singing


    Current information

    Annual conventions of Alemannia Judaica

    The members of the working group

    Jewish cemeteries

    (Earlier and existing) synagogs

    Overview: Jewish culture thinking marks in the region

    Existing one Jewish municipalities in the region

    Jewish museums


    Literature and press article

    Address list

    Digital postcards


    back to the overview “synagogs in the region”
    back to the overview “synagogs in middle Franconia”

    Market Bechhofen (circle Ansbach)
    Jewish history/synagog

    To the history of the Jewish municipality (english version)

    In Bechhofen a Jewish municipality existed until 1938. Their emergence goes into the time 16. Century back (first denomination 1564), when already up to 20 Jewish families at the place lived. Under what strange conditions Jews at individual places were accepted at that time, become clear by the following example: 1593 were granted to a Jew the protection admission after Gunzenhausen with the edition that he had to supply good feather/spring dust, 1 hundredweight good feathers/springs, 1 hundredweight good flax and still different more beside the protection money for itself and his family and others 1/2 hundredweight. During the time of the dreissigjährigen war the number of the Jewish families decreased/went back in Bechhofen, partly twisted it due to the war into other places or came by war effects and diseases around the life. Toward end of the war Bechhofen had become extinct nearly completely destroyed and. To the war some Jewish families return, in order to develop the place again. After the Jews from Herrieden 1681 had been driven out, at least five further families came to Bechhofen. 1714 was counted again 13 Jewish families in Bechhofen. The Jewish families lived on the trade with cattle, horses, Landesprodukten and goods of all kinds.

    Their bloom time experienced the Jewish municipality in the first half 19. Century. Already after 1840/50 however a strong drift process began. The numbers in detail: 1803 39 Jewish families with 143 persons, 1811/12 of 150 Jewish inhabitants (26.8% of altogether 560 inhabitants), 1837 the maximum number of 170 municipality members (21% of altogether 810), 1867 81 (11% of 738), 1871 91 (12.4% of 731), 1880 89 (11.1% of 799), 1890 67 (8.1% of 826), 1900 52 (5.5% of 949), 1910 44 (4.0% of 1.109).

    The municipality had a synagog (see below), a Jewish school, a Mikwe and a cemetery (federation cemetery). For the fulfilment of the most important ritual tasks of the total municipality a teacher was employed, who functioned at the same time as Vorbeter, Schächter and as a Totengräber. The place was again and again again occupied. From the years 1867 and 1911 the following advertisement texts are present:

    Magazine “the Israelit” of 22. May 1867: “Vakante place: With reference to writing out in this page No. 15, 16 and 18 it is hereby later noticed that the settled religion teachers, Chasan (Vorbeter), Schochet (Schächter) and Kabran (totengräber) place is now definitely occupied. Desire-basic applicants want to contact franco the Unterzeichneten. Market Bechhofen in Bavaria, 30 April 1867. The Israeli tables cult US administration: Samuel lock max of welfare. Magazine “the Israelit” of 4. May 1911: “The local teacher, Vorbeter and Schächterstelle, with whom also the Kabran place (Totengräber) is connected, is to be occupied. Content Mk. 1000. - Fixed sum. Mk. 800. - Supplementary incomes. Only realm German and seminaristic educated gentlemen want to announce themselves.
    S. Bechhold, Kultusvorstand
    Bechhofen, middle Franconia. “

    Around 1925, when still 29 persons belonged to the Jewish municipality (2.4% of altogether about 1,200 inhabitants), were the chiefs of the municipality David Steindecker and Amson lock (the two also 1932 as chiefs mentioned). As teacher, Kantor and Schächter Julius Schapiro was active. He gave the religious education to at that time still three schoolable Jewish children. 1932 were a teacher Willy gold mountain for those at that time three children. Existed at Jewish associations a “Israeliti woman Mrs.” (goals: Charity, funeral; Line IDA Steindecker) and the “Israeli tables man association” (goals: Charity, funeral; Leader David Steindecker). The municipality belonged to the Rabbinatsbezirk Ansbach.

    1933 lived 31 Jewish persons at the place (2.3% of 1.356). From these spoiled in the following years most into other cities, ten could emigrate into the USA. On 11 August 1938 the dissolution of the municipality was decided. At this time still the houses and business in Jewish possession were sold to “arische” owners. In September 1938 lived still ten Jewish persons in Bechhofen, which twisted however in the following weeks. On 13 October 1938 Bechhofen was “Jew-free” in the Nazi language. Of the time at the place resident Jewish persons, longer born, in Bechhofen and/or, in the NS time died (data after the lists of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem): Betty long geb. Schülein (1895), Regina Braude geb. rose stone (1874), Hermann Schülein (1875), Jenny Schülein geb. star light (1876), Betty Steindecker (1889), Amalia bunch (1870), Emma welfare (1871).

    From the life of the Jewish municipality

    A 107jähriges municipality member - articles in the magazine “the Israelit” from 11 April 1866: “In Bechhofen, a small market town in the office for district damp cheeks and regional courts Herrieden (Bavaria) lives a Israelite, Reb Isaak Bechhöfer, which - at the beginning of the yearly 1759 born - z. Time an age of 107 years behind itself has. The same is still completely healthy and rüstig, drinks sometimes still its Glä beer in the close pub and smokes daily some whistles strong tobacco. In the house of his youngest son, the commercial man Nathan Bechhöfer daselbst, he enjoys the most attentive treatment. It is already also Ururgrossvater.”

    To the death by Marx lock in October 1894 - articles from the magazine “the Israelit” from 12 November 1894: “Market Bechhofen in Bavaria, 4 November (1894). At the Erew Jom Kippur (day before Jom Kippur) we carried a man here to grave, whose death leaves a large for its family irreplaceable loss, for many different a gap which can be filled out very heavily. Mr. Marx lock died after completely short patient camp on Sunday, 7 October. It reached an age of some seventy years. It was a sincere Jehudi, of which one could say: to each good act it was ready. A Zierde of its municipality it in reputation and love stood in the whole area. Strictly legally in business, friendly and mildly against everyone, with a genuine lew tow (good hearts) talented, he was always helpful opposite all, which requested its quality. Many years was it giving bay for Erez Jisrael and for the Chewra (honorary municipality chief and chief of the charitable society Chewra), in the executive committee of the funeral federation (federation of the municipalities, which occupied the cemetery Bechhofen together) and take the money the Fondes for the preservation of the funeral, untiringly and undauntedly in the sorglichen care of these offices, unselfishly, after God instruction weihte it time and Kraft the general best one, and often put its own affairs back. Which it within the range of charity and mercy performed out, which may be considered with good reason as a bright example of far and broadly. The Erew Jom Kippur was not the day to a Hesped (memory speech), but spoke Mr. Lehrer rose stone some words that Tora, which it loved, to its second hat (earnings/services); on that Mr. Elias Kohn from Wassertrüdingen, which had here-hurried, in order to prove to that friends the last honour, words of the thanks and the acknowledgment in the name of the funeral federation. Its soul is merged into the federation life.”

    To the death of the local council and brush manufacturer Hugo Steindecker - report in the magazine “the Israelit” from 11 September 1930: “Bechhofen, 2 September (1930). The month Aw brought a heavy impact to our municipality. Our proven member the best one one, Hugo Steindecker, partner of the brush factory Marx lock, Bechhofen, is us suddenly entrissen. This Hiobsbotschaft shifted the entire population into deep mourning.
    With it a Zadik is divorced gemul (a large fair) from the world, its lives was filled out with Tora Mizwot umaasim towim (Tora, requirements and good works) up to its last breath. Inspired by the principle “love your next one like you”, he was mindful on the well-being of the whole population; in the local council, to who he belonged six years, he occupied the honorary office of the cashier. The pious one and Gottesfürchtige had always an open hand for charity and always unfolded its activity for the well-being of its Kehillo (Jewish municipality), with which it felt closely connected. It was led time life of the donors of the Ner LeMaor (donor of the candles for the eternal light in the synagog) and the Weines to the Kiddusch (ceremony with benediction saying over the wine) and the Hawdala celebration (at the T/plate asking exit) and as experienced Baal Tokea (Schofarbläser) on the serious days (high holiday over reconciliation day Jom Kippur and New Year's Day Rosch Haschana) on the way to teschuwa (reversal).
    Under large participation and far the covering of the deceased was brought to the entire population as well as many friends and acquaintance from close to the last peace. Before the mourning house Mr. district Rabbiner Dr. Munk spoke - Ansbach agitating parting words. - At the grave Mr. Goldberg expressed the thanks of his municipality. Mr. on that took mayors Bieringer in deeply seizing speech parting from his dear friend and coworker. It main headers out that the clarified was selected with the last Gemeindewahlen by a largest majority of votes again into the local council. For the realm federation of Jewish front soldiers Mr. Heinrich Ullmann spoke - Nuremberg. - With the firing of an honour salvo of the Kriegervereins and a beautifully co-ordinated song of the singing association the coffin was bedded into the earth. Its memory is to the benediction. Its soul is merged into the federation of the life. “

    One of the last “glad events” in the life of the municipality - birth of the child of teacher Willy gold mountain and Mina geb. Oppenheimer in December 1937.

    To the history of the synagog

    One probably from that 16. Century coming synagog was destroyed in the 30jährigen war like most buildings by Bechhofen. Again the Jewish families tightened after the war met to its services and prayers first “in a close chamber or room”. After the influx of five Jewish families from Herrieden 1681, this chamber for the families was no longer sufficient. One strove for the building of a synagog. The Jew ouple made the garden available behind his house for the building. 1684 requested the Jewish municipality with the Mark count the building of a new synagog on this property. With markgräflicher permission one knew the building of a new, wooden synagog (“barn synagog”) accomplishes (further details and source texts see below in the contribution of Willy gold mountain). 1732 were magnificently painted the synagog by the painter Elieser Sussmann originating from Galizien (see the synagogs in Horb at the Main, Unterlimpurg with Swabian resound and Kirchheim with peppering castle).

    The painter Elieser Sussmann ben Salomon from Brod and/or Brody in Galizien painted at least six synagogs in Southern Germany around 1730/40. Beside the synagog in Bechhofen also the synagogs in Georgensgmünd, Horb at the Main (with peppering castle), to Unterlimpurg with Swabian resound, Kirchheim at the Main. Elieser painted the entire inner surfaces with plant ornamentation, prayer sections, sayings of the ways, city opinions (temples of Jerusalem), heraldischen motives, plants and animals etc. in bright colors.

    The Bechhofener synagog was the far beyond region admitted and was considered as singular monument of Jewish art. 1932 could be celebrated the 200jährige anniversary of painting, about what in many Jewish magazines one reported at that time:

    “Bavarian Israeli tables municipality newspaper” (left) and magazine “the Israelit” from 15 December 1932: “Bechhofen. To 25. Marcheschwan 5493 (1732), thus before 200 years completed the Jewish artist and writing scholar Elieser Sussmann painting and the equipment of our world-famous shy synagog and left thus a singular monument of Jewish art the later generations. Because considering the heavy time from a larger celebration one refrained, meant Mr. Lehrer gold mountain at the following Sabbath in a short speech of this large artist with the desire, the allgood-natured might have protected our municipality this “small Heiligtum*” also further and received for all times.”

    In the synagog numerous valuable cult articles were kept, among other things a very old Tora role from the 1681 dissolved municipality Herrieden, several Torawimpel (the oldest of 1649), the Memorbuch of the municipality of 1729 and much more besides.

    In the NS time it came in November 1936 to a first violating, when the synagog and several Jewish houses with red color were beschmiert. Although the synagog stood under monument protection, it was down-burned with the Novemberpogrom 1938 (already on 9 November 1938). In the early morning hours of the daily the instruction of the NSDAP Gauleitung was conveyed to the local group leader that the synagog in fire was to be set. The fire-brigade was ordered for the protection of the adjoining houses to the fire place. Thereupon the synagog was down-burned with its precious Ritualien (among other things Tora shrine curtains, large Kupferleuchter, Zinnleuchter, Chanukkaleuchter). A physician had procured the gasoline. Some Ritualien had been transferred to the Jewish municipality in Munich. These were destroyed in the there Pogromnacht. The fire ruin was eliminated a little later.

    Article of the teacher of the Jewish municipality Bechhofen Willy gold mountain to synagog history:
    Historical from the Jewish municipality after unpublished documents
    (Source: Bavarian Israeli tables municipality newspaper from 1 April 1936 P. 150)

    As well known the barn synagog in Bechhofen ranks as one of the few from the seventeenth century among the most valuable Jewish monuments in Bavaria. Over the building the same so far no exact data were present.
    On a government round question of 15. March 1837, how long the Israeliten is in Bechhofen, indicated the teacher at that time Israelit welfare S.A. (blessed Angedenkens) that exact data were missing. “Everything that I could find”, then it reports further, “is a Pergamentrolle, which came from Herrieden to Bechhofen. The same was donated by a Israeliten named Lipmann, which lived in Herrieden. The oldest gravestone is from the year 1607 on the names Brändlein David von Gunzenhausen. On the synagog is a roofing tile from the year 1684.”
    The Pfarramt to Herrieden reports for this on 29 December 1837: “The searches of the Pfarramtes Herrieden result in that in Herrieden against eight hundred years long Jews resided that they were referred however on 21 November 1681 from the city.”
    To these two data it is mentioned that the Tora role of the Lipmann is used today still in the synagog for the lecture. It is in the possession of the family lock, which in the daughter of the Lipmann Herrieden its ancestor can prove (a member of this family accepted the name Bechhold in the year 1813).
    Lipmann died 1696, his Mrs. Jentle, Tochter of the Samson Herrieden died in the year 1692. Their gravestones are, as most keep remarkably good from that time.
    Oldest gravestones could be determined in the meantime from the year 1603.
    A markgräfliches decree from the year 1684 means among other things: 'Answer in things your whole municipality to Bechhoven against the Jews allda.
    '… When however Fremdder of a Bechhövi Jew daughter heyrathet and alss house-enjoyed themselves bey its Schweher stops; or when a Jud differently Hauss educated to Bechhoven born and in marks again erkaufft, those are to erleen the Einkauffsgeld ebenässig. Like then also that five Jews, so only forwards zwey years from Herrieden to Bechhoven pulled, their still out-constant Einkauffsgeld everyone peculiarly, fünffzehn Creuzer of Frankish currency, compare-measured forwards this times to refund have…
    … In the rest of however the entire Jews neither of it Vogten, nor those Gemeinsleuthen, bey avoidance of ohnausbleiblichen scharffen seeing, weiterbetrohet, struck or sonsten contested, but each Jud bey its prominent trade and change of also ohngehinderter enjoying of all and each municipality rights, as took to have like, not less than the Christians manutenirt and estimated… '
    Onolzbach, the 10. Martii 1684.
    This sharp regulation brought the peace and order long desired to the Jews. Soon thereafter they arranged an input at the Mark counts, around the building of a synagog, which is shown in a collection by “Kaufbriefen in the Vogtambt Bechhoven” (1670-1730):
    'Jew Schuel to Bechhoffen concerned.
    Durchlauchtigster prince, most benevolent gentleman.
    Whether before the German 30jährigen war fine Jew train to Bechhoffen gewessen, one worinnen like other places, together comes and the Gebett performed, is ruiniret nevertheless selbige in the resisting war equal other Gebeuen allda also and spoils, and does not hatt the same after ended not alone outer lack of the Jews allda, but also outer inabilityness of the Nachkömmlinge, so gradually i marks against appeared, zuvörderst itself and hardly some dwelling before itself against to adjust can be expenditure-built, nit can against.
    After however through God and your Höchfürstlich good-natured Special Gnad our number allda widerumb in something increase, and we unss together in a close Cammer or room, on unsern Schabath and in the weeks for performing our prayer, however ouple unss the place behind its Hauss like that schorgärtlein are nit probably amounted to, to give erbotten themselves and we such after on such plaz a building to training and inside a Vorsinger for instance a Stüblein and a Cämmerlein know to have can, however with your Hochfürstlich good-natured benevolent by mission to put up gewillet are.
    Alss be issued hierauff at of you Hochfüstliche Gnad ours unterthänigst requests, you want geruhen gnädigst to consentieren and happen to leave that such Blaz likes for developing a training and dwelling before a Vorsänger unss benevolently and certified, we are also therefore begnadigt with a Decret, like probably however the Hochfürstliche Gefäll, umb such sake Blazes nit the smallest entrance had, are we nevertheless dess Unterthänigst erbietend, auff taking place most benevolent ones by mission and permission, such building in the future annually a Reichsthaler to a constant protection gulden to supply and deliver at the Höchfürstlichen favour bey the Vogtamt Bechhoffen, our Gebetts also at such place dergestallt verrrichten that too demand before of you Höchfürstlich Gnd. , God eagerly in such unsern meetings, fall also we are issued nobody want to call annoying or cumbersomely with such our service, with which to a benevolent one grace we also persisting instructs resolution insgesambt under in writing unss
    Your Hochfürstlich most benevolent one
    Unterthänigste gehorsambste
    the common Jew shank
    to Bechhoffen. '
    This input continued to lead the Vogt Johann Ludwig zinc on 19 July 1684 with a favourable recommendation, after the Jews already before the war one train would have possessed and but twenty lumps delivered protection money.
    'Decretum uff the Supplication.
    If one leaves hierauff and the Vogtes to Bechhoffen refunded unterthänigsten report, from Hochfürstlich of most benevolent ones prevails because of to happen that Supplicierender Jew shank to mentioned Bechhoffen on invermeltenn Plaz a Jew train to build, against annual handing zwantzig bazen protection money, begun building is to thus turn on.
    Signatum Onolzbach (Ansbach), the 12ten July Ao. 1684. Ex consilio. '
    The modest guidance of the Jews to Bechhofen proved to be true at the building of their place of worship: Inconspicuously off the market route a building stands, from the outside to regard like a barn, only the elbow windows lets its holy regulation guess. And years later the painter Elieser has fifty ben Schlomo the inside to a splendourful Heiligtum equipped.
    The grateful prayer for the well-being and the welfare of the Mark count attached Elieser beside the wonderful painted siebenarmigen Leuchter at the south wall of this small sanctify around - the worthy memory! “

    Address/location of the synagog: Synagog place

    (upper row: United States Holocaust Memorial museum; following rows depending upon instruction source: Book Th. Harburger: “The inventory of Jewish art and cultural monuments in Bavaria. 1998 P. 92-107; most of the photos are published, among other things also in other works the photos of Alfred Evers in the Jewish encyclopedia 1927 reproduction 1982 Bd. IV, 2 board CLXIII; other one in Pinkas Hakehillot S. Lit. P. 284-285 or in the essay of Theodor Harburger in Bavarian Israeli tables the municipality newspaper s.Lit etc.).

    Field recording of the “barn synagog” Right: Reading out table (Schulchan) View over the reading out table

    Inside of the synagog: East wall
    (Photo: Alfred Evers, Bechhofen 1926 ago) View to the Tora shrine (Aron hectar Kodesch)
    (Photo: Babette faithful man, Fürth) Inside of the synagog: Almemor and southwest corner (photo: Karl Michelsohn, Ansbach)

    Inside of the synagog: West wall, north corner (photo: Alfred Evers, Bechhofen 1926 ago) Inside of the synagog: South wall (photo: Alfred Evers, Bechhofen) Inside of the synagog, detail: Rule prayer and Menora (photo: Babette faithful man, Fürth)

    Inside of the synagog: West wall, southern part (photo: Alfred Evers, Bechhofen 1926 ago) Inside of the synagog: West wall (photo: Dr. Josef M. cut, Munich, 1930 ago) Inside of the synagog: Southeast corner (photo: Babette faithful man, Fürth)

    Inside of the synagog: Southwest corner (photo: Dr. Josef M. cut, Munich, 1930 ago) Inside of the synagog: Detail - wall filling (photo: Dr. Josef M. cut 1930 ago) Inside of the synagog: Ceiling painting (photo: Dr. Josef M. cut 1930 ago)

    Inside of the synagog, detail: Wall filling Tora sign from Bechhofen (end of 17. Century) Benediction saying, written on Tuesday, 6 October 1772

    Synagog place 2006
    (Photos: Cock, stocktaking date 30.7.2006)

    The synagog place Gedenkstein Artistically arranged Gegenstein

    Left and literature


    Website of the municipality market Bechhofen
    To the side over the Jewish cemetery in Bechhofen
    The barn synagog Bechhofen with www.kreativerunterricht.de (more directly left to the lower surface of these Website)


    Theodor Harburger: Works of Jewish people art in Bavaria. Bavarian Israeli tables municipality newspaper. Munich July 1931 P. 195-199.
    Baruch Z. Ophir/Falk meadow man: The Jewish municipalities in Bavaria 1918-1945. History and destruction. 1979 P. 162-164.
    Israel Schwierz: Stony certifications of Jewish life in Bavaria. A documentation of the Bavarian national center for political education work. A 85. 1988 S. 146f.
    Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia OF Jewish Communities from their foundation till after the Holocaust. Germany - Bavaria. Hg. of Yad Vashem 1972 (Hebrew) P. 283-287 (with further literature data to 1970 contributions appeared).
    Note: in nearly all larger works to general synagog history sections are to Bechhofen.

    Article from “The Encyclopedia OF Jewish life Before and During the Holocaust”.
    Roofridge published in 2001 by NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS; Copyright © 2001 by Yad Vashem Jerusalem, Israel.

    Bechhofen Middle Franconia. A Jewish settlement OF 20 families existed into the late 16th century. The synagogue which destroyed into the Thirty Years was. A new wooden one, built in 1684, which called the barns (barn synagog) beause OF its shape. In 1732 the interior which throughout decorated by the masters of painter Eliezer Sussmann, making it famous Germany. Most Jews left the town OF severe because into the early 1760s persecution. They returned tons improved conditions RK the beginning OF the 19th century. The Jews numbered 170 (totally 810) in 1837. Into the Nazi era, Jewish of homes and net curtain were Aryanized. All the Jews left in 1934-1938, ten tons the United States and 26 tons of OTHER German of cities. Though the synagogue which placed more under the control OF the Bavarian Office OF Antiquities, it which burned ton the ground on crystal night (9-10 November 1938) by local rioters.

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  4. Even better pictures:


  5. Does the spelling in the sentence They took the name Bechhoefer indicate that "Bechhofer" is actually 'Bechhöfer'?

  6. Just a freindly suggestion for a post (pretty please) RAV TZADOK ON TUBSHAVT