France / Lorraine


Synagogue of Saint-Avold. Photo by Jean-Marc Pascolo – Wikipedia

The Jewish presence in Saint-Avold has been documented since the 15th century. A prior presence in not documented.

A very small number of Jews were allowed to remain in the city in the 17th century, which didn’t prevent them from being victims during that century of several waves of expulsion.

The wind of emancipation of the French Revolution allowed Jews to settle more permanently in the city. The first synagogue was installed in an apartment in 1808.

The building accidentally burned down and the synagogue was relocated to a building on rue des Anges.

Arc of the Synagogue of Saint-Avold. Photo by Jean-Marc Pascolo – Wikipedia

About 50 Jews lived in Saint-Avold at this time. This number will rise to 134 in 1845. Following the arrival of German Jews after the War of 1870, the number of Naborian Jews rose to 159 in 1900. The city’s  Jewish cemetery dates from 1902. It is located a little outside of the city, in Hellering.

Among the city’s Jewish personalities, industrialist Aaron Hertz, builder of a horn factory and mayor, and especially Herta Strauch, author of the novel Catherine Soldier.

Of the hundred or so Jews present before the war, forty-four were murdered in deportation. The synagogue was destroyed in 1940 by the Nazi occupiers. A  synagogue was built in 1960 by architect Roger Zonca in a contemporary cubic style.

The  American Military Cemetery is the country’s largest necropolis in Europe. Of the 10,000 graves, 400 are those of American Jewish soldiers who fell with weapons in hand to liberate Europe.

About sixty Naborian Jews now live in Saint-Avold.