Since the early Middle Ages Jews also lived in Franconia. For the first time in 1298 persecutions, the so-called pogroms, take place in East Franconia. This is especially the case in the towns. As a result, the Jews begin to move away from the cities and settle in villages and markets.
After a bloody persecution of Jews in Nuremberg in 1349 had also destroyed the Jewish quarter of the city (today’s main market), the lords of Schlusselberg (Neideck Castle) offered the survivors protection in their villages.
This was the first time that the function of the nobility as a protective power over the Jews in the region became visible. In 1548, Emperor Charles V. in the so-called Reichspoliceyordnung of the Imperial Knighthood, the Jewish protection law. This offered the knights the possibility of taking in Jews and levying taxes and other duties on them.
These soon considerable revenue opportunities also led to a policy of settling Jews in many Reichsritterschaft settlements.
Trade with domestic animals
Thus, traces of past Jewish life can still be found in many places today. In Egloffstein Jewish inhabitants can be proved only after the Thirty Years War, while in other Egloffstein villages Jews lived already earlier.
In the Urbar of the knight’s estate Egloffstein of 1728 six estates with Jews are mentioned. They lived primarily from cattle and domestic animal trade.
Egloffstein also saw a strong exodus of Jews to the burgeoning industrial cities like Furth. Or even to America, until in 1890 the last Jews left Egloffstein.
Until 1798, services were held in private houses, then in the simple, structurally inconspicuous synagogue.
The also "Judenschul said synagogue was at the same time the residence of the rabbi and religious school.
Until 1940, one could still recognize the Torah on the gable end. In view of the exodus of Jews from Egloffstein, the synagogue was sold again as early as 1866.
The ritual Jewish bath, the "Mikwe", was located further up in the market under house No.44 and has lapsed today. Egloffstein never had its own Jewish cemetery.
Until 1737, the Egloffstein Jews were buried in Pretzfeld and then in Hagenbach.