November 9 "Kristallnacht" in Goeppingen.
The action "Kristallnacht" was prepared with a long hand by the NSDAP, there can be no question of spontaneous "people's anger" as the NWZ and GZ report. The Goeppingen state archivist Karl-Heinz Rueß describes the events surrounding "Kristallnacht" in great detail. However, his account of the events, written in 1998, took 60 years to be published!
Rueß writes: "Kreisleiter Imanuel Baptist was called by the Gaupropagandaleitung in Stuttgart with the advice:" in the country the synagogues are burning, the rage of the people is inflamed." A precise order from the SA Ulm finally reached the Geislinger SA . The instruction demanded "that all synagogues be burned down immediately."
The Geislinger SA met in the inn "Kreuz" (opposite the town hall directly at the Rohrach), they drove to Goeppingen with two passenger cars and a truck, on which straw was loaded. One person even followed by bicycle. In front of the synagogue the troop was already expected by the SA-Sturmbannführer. District leader Baptist had the firemen's alarm line turned off. The SA men from Geislingen forced their way into the synagogue. There they set fire to the straw they had brought in with gasoline. The building burned out completely. The fire department was not allowed to go out to extinguish the fire. Their commander, Karl Keuler, was finally allowed to send out a platoon to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring houses. 50-80 onlookers surrounded the fiery spectacle and accompanied it with anti-Semitic bawling. Because Keuler clearly voiced his displeasure that night, he soon had to resign from his position as fire department commander.
On the night of the pogrom, there was a second job to be done. This had come from the state police in Stuttgart. All male citizens of Jewish faith between the ages of 16 and 65 were to be arrested. They were rounded up at the Dettelbacher Hotel and in the following days transported to the Dachau concentration camp, where they were often mistreated during a prison stay of several weeks. When the men were picked up, apartments were also searched and the furnishings destroyed. At the Lendt department store on Untere Marktstraße, the shop windows were smashed and the displays looted….
The search for the perpetrators did not begin until the end of 1946, and was set in motion by the Goeppingen Federation of Trade Unions. In 1948, the indictment was presented to the Ulm Regional Court. Fifteen people were accused of breach of peace, joint arson and serious trespass. The district leader Immanuel Baptist received two years in prison.
Dr. Hansjuergen Goelz