On the history of the Jews in Datterode

It is not possible to establish with certainty when Jews first lived in Datterode. In the villages of the Ringgau, a few of them appeared at the end of the 16th century. The long history of their expulsion from their homeland and their dispersion across Europe cannot be recounted in this venue. Their role in the small villages, where they were more or less tolerated as a minority, is not as directly traceable as in the larger towns and cities (as, for example in Abterode or Reichensachsen), where they were able to form strong communities. It is somewhat improbable that Märten Moyse of Datterode, who was murdered in Röhrda in 1546, was a Jew, due to his first name, Martin. One of the first definite references is from the year 1595. In a letter dated 14 July 1595, the advisors to the Landgrave of Kassel ask the Governor of the Werra Region about “the Jews of Datterode, in reference to stopping the distribution of counterfeit coins”. Counterfeiting was a crime that was frequently mentioned in the records. – not unexpected, because of the large number of towns where coins were minted – and it was also no wonder that the Jews had to earn their living from money-dealing and exchange, since “respectable handicraft” had been forbidden to them for a long time. The name of the Datterode Jew of 1595 is unfortunately not known, and just as little is known of his fate. The fact that he did not want to speak was interpreted to his detriment:. “There must be more behind it. He cannot be innocent.” For a long time we hear nothing about the Jews in Datterode. The annual accounts of the Jews’ protection money – a kind of head tax for the right to reside – show nothing until the year 1672. Not until 1673 and 1674 was Löwe Heilbrunn registered with 2 Gulden of protection money.

The real beginning of the history of the Jews in Datterode lies, however, in the year 1683. It was in that year that, for the first time, Meyer Calman, later known only as Meyer, paid 2 Gulden of protection money annually, and remained in the village to raise his family. In a later entry, we see that he came here to Datterode from Gerbershausen auf dem Eichsfeld. He received his Letter of Protection – the final formal residence permit – on 22 February 1697. In 1729 he still lived here with his son and his family. A list from that year indicates “Calmann Meyer, 1 wife, 2 sons, 1 daughter, the oldest son 11 years of age, and the daughter 6 years. He boils soap and has a small shop in his home, as well as other domestic activities. His old father has no Letter of Protection, and was born in Datterode.”

“Meyer Calmann, the father of the above. His 1 son and 2 daughters are all married, and he no longer is engaged in business. Letter of Protection of 22 February 1697”; He is from Gerbershausen and he is supposed to have paid his entry fee through a previous agreement with the Jews.”

“David Heilbrunn, his wife, deals in horses, has no Letter of Protection, is from Wichmannshausen and has not paid his entry fee.”

A similar record, from 1 May 1731, shows no significant changes:
Calman Meyer, wife and 4 children, with the aged father, David Heilbrunn, his wife and one child.”

The 1737 tax roll of Datterode names three Jews in the village:
“No. 97 Sandel the Jew, has nothing”;
No. 98 Calman Meyer, house, croft and garden verge on Davidt Schmul;
No. 99 Davidt Schmul, house, croft and garden verge on Conrad Bachmann, ¼ acre of land at the Nestberge, 1 cow.”
The Jew Sandel is mentioned only here, and either was overlooked in the subsequent listings or moved elsewhere. His name suggests a connection with Sander Pfifferling, who appeared only after 1800.

By 1740, the number of Jews in the County of Hesse had increased to approximately 4,000. Because of their high mobility, they were not all detected by the bureaucracy, so the census of 1744, despite its greater accuracy, did not achieve its purpose, namely to expel those Jews who had no authorization to take up residence. From further sources, such as tax ledgers, etc., it can be seen that many Jews remained, despite their not being permitted to reside in the County.

In the warehouse-, inventory- and tax book of 1745 (cf. “Village Discription of 1745”), there are two Jewish families shown as living in Datterode:
No. 74, Calman Meyer, deals in cows and retail sales, house and croft verge on David Schmoll.”
No. 75, David Samuel, residence and croft verge on Christian Bachmann.”
The simultaneous so-called “Business Posting” provides some additional information: “Callmann Meyer, has his own house, deals in cows and retail sales, annually slaughters in his store approximately ten head of cattle and as many calves, has a wife, 1 son, 1 daughter. David Samuell, has his own house of similar value, carries on a poor business with old cows and does not have many assets.

Additional details about the ownership of both Jewish houses can be inferred from the real estate tax register, but even this does not provide a complete picture. Thus, In 1763, Calman Meyer’s house was turned over to his son, Baruch Calmen. The village map of 1790 also reflects this inheritance. In 1841, Salomon Löbenstein received the house. Presumably, the family living in the house remained the same. At the beginning of the 19th century, Jews were required to adopt permanent family names. The house of David Samuel was transferred in 1763 to Moses Heilbrunn, and then in 1771came into the possession of non-Jews: to Johannes Lotz, Caspar Vogeler and Conrad Eisel, and in 1809, a Jew, Callman Baruch, clearly a son of Baruch Calmen, lived in the adjoining house. He took the name Löbenstein, and in 1829 it went to his son (!) Israel Löbenstein. Further, according to a letter of purchase dated 14 August 1928, Sander Pfifferling acquired House No. 14 from Johannes Munck. Further developments from 1845 to about 1875 can be inferred from the real estate tax registers of that time:

House No. 8 (old No. 14): In 1845, Sander Pfifferling’s inheritors, namely 1. Beile Pfifferling, who was married to Katz of Netra; 2. Joseph Pfifferling, from here; 3. Sara Pfifferling; Kalmen Pfifferling; 5. Lea Pfifferling, married to Katz of Netra.

On 30 July 1858, Joseph Pfifferling. Sander’s son, acquired Titles 1 and 5, and on 13 Feb 1868 Title 4 was transferred to Joseph Pfifferling’s children: 1. Beschen, 2. Bernhardt, 3. Sander, 4. Baruch, 5. Minkchen, 6. Lea, 7. Berle, 8. Jacob, 9. Marcus, 10. Malchen, 11. Sarchen, 12. Levi and 13. Giedel.

The dry goods dealer, Albert Pfifferling (called “Tambour”) lived in House No. 8 until his death on 15 Jul 1933, together with his wife Toni, nee Rothschild, two daughters and one son (Julius). Minke and Jacob Pfifferling emigrated to America in 1871.

House No. 31, after the First World War, was occupied by the merchant Baruch Lobenstein, his wife Helena, and two daughters.

House No. 64 was acquired by Callmann Pfifferling and his wife Sara, geb. Hess, in 1852, from August Theodor Streibelein’s widow, together with 5/8 acres “Auf der Schleife”. In 1868 it was 1 1/8 acres of land. Cattle merchant Hermann Pfifferling, who died on 15 January 1938, lived here with his wife Jeanette, who died on 5 April 1937. The couple had three daughters and a son Karl, who emigrated to New York (went away from Datterode on 12 January 1938 - took the ship "Manhattan" from Hamburg on 16 January 1938), to whom the house was returned in 1950 (next owner barber Karl Köbrich/today hairdressing salon Fissmann, Leipziger Str. 4 - Leipziger Street No. 4).

House No. 81½ , after World War I, was occupied by the merchant Herz Löbenstein and his wife Berta (cf. below).

House No. 82 (old No. 68), a residence with a bake house and an arbor frame (Sukkah), in 1845 Israel Löbenstein, Meyer’s son, a merchant, in 1846 it included 1 3/8 acres of land. The house was acquired in 1860 by the shoemaker Meyer Löbenstein, Israel’s son; In 1868, his brother, the merchant Herz Löbenstein II; in 1874 the fruit merchant Reinhard Munk purchased the property (later owned by Georg Beck, master bricklayer and community recorder resp.his son Peter; today torn away, rests of the basement are still recognizable; Leipziger Str. 35 – Leipziger Street No. 35 – cf.  further down).

The whereabouts of the Sukkah door have now been completely clarified by the Heimatverein Datterode:
In the late 1990s it was acquired by the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (http://www.imjnet.org.il/HTMLs/Home.aspx) from a Swiss dealer, with whose son in London we were able to make contact. Thanks to inquiries made by Elizabeth Levy in Jerusalem, she learned that the curator of the Israel Museum had carried out a worldwide study of Sukkahs, and still had a good recollection of the door. In 2006, the door from Datterode was offered for auction, presumably from there, by Sotheby’s Tel Aviv auction house. It was given a minimum bid of $12,000, and was acquired by a private collector for the incredible amount of $30,000!
In 2012, we were able to clarify the whereabouts of the door and even had the opportunity to historical gem to inspect it personally. In particular, the previously unknown back was impressive, but was there - read by a child of the owner spontant from Hebrew - to read "Baruch", the final proof that the door once belonged to Baruch Löbenstein of Datterode. A moving moment.
We owe a great deal of gratitude to Mr. Aaron Orzel of London for giving us information about the door, and for supplying us with photos of it; and of course to Elizabeth Levy of Jerusalem – a descendant of Israel Löbenstein from House No. 82 in Datterode, where the Sukkah door once had its home (see: Kurzbesuch aus Übersee). When the curator of the Israel Museum learned that Mrs. Levy is a descendant of the former owners of the Sukkah door, she became very interested, within the framework of her knowledge, to learn more about the family history and location of origin of the the Sukkah door. The reference to the door in our Internet presentation was, of course, essential.

House No. 85 (old No. 74): In 1845 the property, occupied by Salomon Löbenstein, included a residence, a slaughterhouse with a stable, a woodshed, and bake house. In 1843 it was acquired by his son Baruch Löbenstein II, a merchant. In 1862 he owned 2 5/16 acres of land. By the end of World War I, it was no longer in Jewish hands.

House No. 86 (old No. 75): In 1845 it was occupied by Baruch Löbenstein, Kalman Baruch’s son, with a stable and croft; In 1874 it was purchased by the day laborer Friedrich Eyrich.

House No. 87, adjacent to the above house: In 1845 it was occupied by Baruch Löbenstein’s widow, Deichen, nee Naphtali; the property included a residence, stable and croft. In 1870 it was inherited by their son, Herz Löbenstein, a merchant.

House No. 89 was purchased in 1861 by Heinrich Vogt: 1. Baruch Löbenstein, Callmann’s son; 2. Herz Löbenstein, Callmann’s son; 3. Baruch Löbenstein, Salomon’s son; 4. Meyer Löbenstein, Israel’s son; 5. Joseph Löbenstein, Israel’s son; 6. Herz Löbenstein, Israel’s son. In 1859, Betti Löbenstein emigrated; in 1861 Frommet Löbenstein.

When Joseph Löbenstein died in 1905 at an advanced age, his burial was reported in the Eschweger Tageblatt of 27 November as follows: “Datterode, 26 November. At noon, the deceased veteran Joseph Löbenstein, who died at 80 years of age, was, with large participation of the local population, particularly the Veteran and Military Association, as well as many friends, laid to his last resting place. The deceased took part in the campaign against the Danes in the years 1848 and 1849, and was probably the last war veteran from that time in our district.” An impressive example of the integration of the Jews into the life of the village, at least during those years.


The records of house ownership after 1875 are no longer available. In 1910, the list of homeowners included:

  1. Albert Pfifferling, Baruch’s son, merchant

Baruch Löbenstein, Herz’s son, merchant. The next owner was Jakob Fuchs.

  1. Merchant Jakob Dreyfuß’s widow, Dina, nee Ballin; The next owner was Heinrich Fischer II.



Josef Löbenstein, Baruch’s son, merchant. The next owner was Johannes Brüßler.

  1. Hermann Pfifferling, merchant; in 1942 confiscated by the government; in 1950 returned to Karl Pfifferling, New York (records of returned property at the end of the Nazi dictatorship)



Herz Löbenstein, merchant; The next owner was Heinrich Köbrich.

Herz Löbenstein, Baruch’s son, cattle merchant.

Herz Baruch Löbenstein, Baruch’s son, cattle merchant, and partners. The next owner was Wilhelm Wieditz III.

[Translate to en:] 9. Jenny Löbenstein, Herz Tochter; Besitznachfolger: Wilhelm Wolfs Frau.

Persons who served in the First World War::
1. Baruch Löbenstein, enlisted 1 August 1914, Iron Cross, 2nd Class
2. Baruch Löbenstein, enlisted 3 August 1914
3. Max Löbenstein, enlisted 1 October 1914
4. Dreyfuß, enlisted 28. January 1915
5. Albert Pfifferling, enlisted 8 June 1917

The address book for the year 1931 mentions only the families of Albert and Hermann Pfifferling. On 30 Jan 1933 there were still two families, totaling 12 persons, living in the village. Albert Pfifferling died in 1933, having had to live through the seizure of power by the National Socialists. Hermann Pfifferling died on 16 January 1938, his wife Jeanette on 5 April 1937, both having been spared the “Reichskristallnacht” in November 1938. The record of an arrest of Jews who lived in the District of Eschwege on 1 Oct 1937, mentions six persons, of whom four had possessed commercial licenses.

Gräber Datteröder Juden auf dem jüdischen Friedhof zu Netra

From „850 Jahre Datterode“, Der Festausschuss Datterode, Verlag Friedrich Gajewski, 1991, with gracious permission of the author, Dr. Karl Kollmann, Waldkappel-Bischhausen.generously translated for the Heimatverein  by Nathan Reiss, Highland Parks, NJ, U. S. A., descendant of the Pfifferling family from Datterode

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