Jews in the Kraichgau
The earliest documents mentioning Jews in the area that is today's Baden-Württemberg are from the first half of 13th century. Within the Kraichgau the first jews are mentioned in 1288 in Bruchsal. From the 14th century we have quite a number of notes on jewish inhabitants of the Kraichgau – eg in Bretten, Sinsheim, Waibstadt, Neckarbischofsheim, Wiesloch and Eppingen. At that time quite a number of places in the Kraichgau got town status so the services of jews for developping trade and finances were sought after.
First Persecutions and Expulsions from the Kraichgau
In 1348/50 a gigantic wave of persecutions swept over the whole land and of course affected the Jews in Kraichgau. For the raging pestilence the Jews were made scapegoats. It was argued that they had poisened wells and springs. Many of them were expelled or killed. In the Kraichgau we have sources for pogroms in Bretten, Bruchsal, Waibstadt, Wiesloch and Eppingen.
After these dreadful years only at the end of the 14th century very few Jews are mentioned in the Kraichgau but already in 1390 all Jews were expelled again from the places that belonged to the Kurpfalz.