Juden in Hoechstaedt / Donau

Hoechstadt on the Danube as some other neighboring towns already in 13th century have a number of Jewish inhabitants noted in contemporary registers. In 1396 Augsburg tax payer books mention “Bunnung of Hochstetten” as well as his unnamed son as tax payer. In 1424 and 1425 a unnamed  “Jewes of Hoechstaet” is listed. Since women according to medieval German laws in generally were not regarded as “legally competend” she obviously must had been a widow, maybe the one of the before mentioned Bunnung. So far nothing else is known from any of the Jews related to Hoechstaedten. During the same period also other towns register Jews from Hoechstaedt, one Yosef Hoechstaet is noted as student of Yosef bar Moshe the famous author of לקט יושר (see: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/15009), who obviously came from the town on the Danube. In 1703 and 1704 there were the Battles of Blenheim which in German are refered to Hoechsaedt. However the modern family name Höchstädter, which appears also on grave markers at Augsburg Jewish cemeteries most certainly derivers from a more recent, temporarily 18th century Jewish settlement in the small town near Dillingen and Binswangen (with some 6000 inhabitants today). It is said that there was an own small Jewish cemetery near the village, but since there are no grave markers left you may guess where exactly you may look for it. However today the only leftover is a street sign “Judenberg” which likely indicates the previous Jewish presence in this street.   

Wenige Einträge in Registern anderer Städte deuten auf mittelalterliche Juden in Höchstädt an der Donau, wo es trotzdem im 18. Jahrhundert auch eine neuere keleine Gemeinde mit eigenem Friedhof gegeben haben soll. Von diesem freilich ist nichts erhalten und so ist neben dem Familiennamen Höchstädter der sich wohl auf den kleinen Ort an der Donau beziehen wird, ein Straßenschild mit der Aufschrift “Judenberg“, der einzige namentlich Beleg, der bislang am Ort überdauert hat.

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