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Nuremberg is located in Bavaria on the River Pegnitz and also includes the historical towns of Fürth, Erlangen, and Schwabach in its region. During the 14th century, the city was known for its importance in local trade and craftsmanship. Nuremberg Hauptmarkt (Main Market), the beautiful Church of Our Lady, the Beautiful Fountain, and the Old Town Hall are its most famed historical landmarks. In the 15th and 16th century, Nuremberg became the center of the German Renaissance and home to Albrecht Dürer, one of the most famous artists of this era.
A Jewish community was recorded in the area in the 12th century and erected its first synagogue in 1296, which was later destroyed during the “Black Death” pogroms of 1349. After this time, Jewish life in Nuremberg became extremely difficult and was even banned at times.
In 1850, the first Jewish citizens re-settled in Nuremberg and their numbers grew quickly, contributing heavily towards the economic, scientific, and cultural development of the city. Important trade firms like “Bing-Werke” and “Viktoria” were owned by Jewish people. In 1922, the local Jewish community of roughly 9,300 members was the second-largest in Bavaria.
In the first half of the 20th century, an increasingly hostile political atmosphere caused many members of the Jewish community in the region to emigrate. Up to today, "Nuremberg Rallies", the "Nuremberg Laws", and the "Nuremberg Trials" link the city's name to the period of National Socialist rule.
About 65 of the former local Jews returned after the war and revived the community, which grew steadily over the coming years and inaugurated a new community center with a synagogue in 1984. Today, the community is dominated by immigrants from the former Soviet Union and has around 2,200 members. The neighboring town of Fürth is home to the small Jewish Museum Franken. Fürth once had the largest Jewish congregation in southern Germany, and the museum chronicles the history of Jewish life in the region from the Middle Ages to today.
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