Unfolding CommunitiesThe Lost Jews of Mellrichstadt
History of the ritual bath, the Mikwe, of Mellrichstadt
It was situated at the road to Hendungen, now the Straße am See (Road at the Pond).
1865: The Jewish community bought a stretch of land in the gardens at the road to Hendungen. It was well chosen for a ritual bath as the flowing off of the so-called Heiligenquelle (Saints’ Spring) ran into the River Streu.
But this plan was rejected at once by the town administration of Mellrichstadt. They said that the gardens under the Mikwe were supplied by the same spring water, and the water was also used for drinking.
Therefore the Jewish community bought another site. At the end of 1865 they applied a second time for the building of the ritual bath.
1868: Again the town administration rejected this plan justifying the rejection that here, too, the water of the Heiligenquelle would be needed. Moreover in hot summers the spring had run dry with the consequence that the gardens could not be watered adequately.
The District Council, however, against the city fathers’ intention, gave its permission to build the ritual bath, stating that the consumption of the water would be comparatively low.
1869: The bath was built.
At that time, one member of the community had taken this site on lease, and the community met there in their leisure time, too.
1938: The building of the bath was destroyed in the Reichs-Pogromnacht (Night of Broken Glass – Kristallnacht).
1939: The house of the bath was torn down together with the synagogue.
1942: The site was sold to a private citizen, the offspring of whom use it as their garden still today.