Selling under Duress
More and more members of the Jewish community emigrated. In 1938 a regular service could hardly be held any more. But it was mainly the financial pressure that led to the selling of the synagogue:
The Nazis had taken many steps to suppress the Jewish population. Already in 1934 a new tax law had been passed. Among its consequences was: institutions that were „for the benefit of Jews” were no longer classified as „charitable”. By this tax exemption was cancelled. The Bezirksamt Sinsheim wrote in August 1936: „Hierunter fallen vor allen Dingen die Synagogen und die Judenbäder” („this is especially the case for synagogues and mikwes”).
So property taxes and the „Gebäudesondersteuer” (a special tax on houses) were demanded from the Jewish community. They could not afford this because their incomes were drastically reduced by the many harassments which they had to endure.
The Gebäudesondersteuer was declared as „irrecoverable” by the local authorities already for 1936. But arrears of taxes very soon led to forcible collection.
So the selling of the synagogue only forestalled the foreclosure.
Town Archive Sinsheim: „Steinsfurt” A 239