Moedling (Mödling; Juristical districts Mödling, Liesing, Bruck an der Leitha, Schwechat, Hainburg)

Synagogue built in: 1913
Earliest record of community: Sixties of the 19th Century
Last rabbi: Dr. Albert Schweiger
Community members: 1934 - 436; 1939 - 35
Pogrom Night: Burnt down
After 1945: Demolished in 1987
Today: Commercial building
Summary: Jewish settlement in the town of Mödling dated to the Middle Ages. During the anti-Jewish persecutions of 1420, known as the Vienna Gezera, members of Mödling’s Jewish community were arrested, killed or expelled, and their property was confiscated.

After this pogrom, there was no Jewish life in Mödling until the mid-19th century. By 1860, however, there were enough Jews living in the town to warrant the establishment of an Israelitische Bethausgenossenschaft (Jewish Prayer House Association). Religious services were held in a former metal workshop at 8 Klostergasse. In 1876, a Jewish burial ground was inaugurated within the municipal cemetery on Guntramsdorfer Straße.

At the beginning of the 20th century, construction began on a synagogue designed by the famous synagogue architect Ignaz Reiser. The synagogue had arched entrances, a large stained glass window and a rustic-style wooden roof.

In 1892, the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Mödling (Jewish Congregation of Mödling) was established. The congregation founded a chevra kadisha (burial society) and, in 1917, a charitable association. Rabbi Dr. Leo Bardowicz, who served the congregation from 1892 until 1925, made a significant contribution to the growth of the community. His successor, Dr. Albert Schweiger, headed the congregation until the destruction of the Jewish community in 1938.

The synagogue was attacked several times even during the 1920s. On Pogrom Night, November 9/10 1938, Jews who were considered “political suspects” were arrested. Local Nazi leaders ordered the confiscation of Jewish property and the destruction of Jewish stores. Even the day before the pogrom, a crowd had attacked the synagogue during a demonstration. In the afternoon, fire broke out inside the building and spread throughout the structure. No one attempted to put out the blaze. Many Jews left Mödling in the 1930s; some emigrated. Those who could not escape were eventually deported and became victims of the concentration camps. In 1987, the remains of the synagogue were cleared. A memorial was erected in 2003.
Sources: - Genée, Pierre, Synagogen in Österreich, Wien 1992
- David, Jüdische Kulturzeitschrift in Österreich
- R. Burger, F. M./Rinner, F. R. Strobl (Hg.), Ausgelöscht. Vom Leben der Juden in Mödling, Mödling 1988
- Jüdisches Leben in Mödling, in: Mödlinger Stadtnachrichten
- P. Malina, "Auch Mödling mag die Juden nicht...", in: Das jüdische Echo, Nr. 1, Oktober 1987
- Gold, H., Geschichte der Juden in Österreich, Tel Aviv 1971
- Die Gemeinde, offizielles Organ der Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde Wien