Unfortunately, we lack any personal diaries and letters, the usual sources of social history; all internal documents of the Jewish community in Stühlingen must be considered lost. However, this is not the case for the two closely related Jewish communities of Lengnau and Endingen, across the Rhine from Tiengen and Stühlingen. The two-volume History of the Jews in Switzerland29 by Augusta Weldler-Steinberg, and edited by Florence Guggenheim-Grünberg, provides a template for interpreting much of the Stühlingen archival records. Augusta Steinberg (1879–1932) had immigrated to Switzerland as a child from Buczacz (Buchach) in Galicia. She originally trained as primary-school teacher and graduated from the University of Bern in 1902 with a thesis on the history of the Jews in Switzerland during the Middle Ages. She was best known for editing the works of the German poet Karl Theodor Körner. At the behest of the Swiss Association of Jewish Communities, she began the work on the two-volume book in 1919 but died in 1932, shortly before its completion. The manuscript was eventually finalized by Florence Guggenheim-Grünberg, who had been researching the customs and history of the Jews in the villages of Endingen and Lengnau, and the book was published in 1966.
This survey of available sources regrettably sheds no light on the individual Jewish inhabitants of Stühlingen. The dominance of the given names Schmul, Jackhlin, Jossel, Leheman, and Marum, as well as their many variations, cloud the picture. Based on the existing literature, we cannot interpret the events that led to the ultimate expulsion of the Jews. And, finally, the identity of the great Maharam of Stühlingen, the synagogue builder who used wine instead of water to mix the mortar, still remains a mystery.
In order to further this research, we have no choice but to systematically analyze extant administrative, judicial, and accounting records pertaining to Stühlingen’s Jews from the archives of Donaueschingen and Karlsruhe – a monumental task. Details of that investigation will be discussed in chapter 2. The results of the analysis will then be described and discussed in the light of the pertaining literature.
29Weldler-Steinberg and Guggenheim-Grünberg, Geschichte der Juden in der Schweiz.