Another important contribution to the scant literature on the Jews of Stühlingen, a series of three articles in the Swiss journal of Jewish genealogy, originates from the pen of the veteran Basel genealogist and lawyer Peter Stein.19 This series is particularly useful since it meticulously itemizes internal Jewish sources relevant for the elucidation of Stühlingen’s Jewish history. Unfortunately, Stein explored only a small sample of extant external, primary sources available at the Karlsruhe archives, insufficient to resolve the complex family structure of the Stühlingen community or to trace the chronology of and reasons for certain events.
The same author, in collaboration with Werner L. Frank, has written an article on the early history of the famed Guggenheim family.20 Unfortunately, their family tree falls short, since it is not based on sufficient primary data.
But a Jewish community does not exist in a vacuum. Its situation and development cannot be understood without adequate geographic and historical background about the town hosting it. A little volume by a local historian entitled Geschichte der Stadt und der vormaligen Landgrafschaft Stühlingen, which I found in a second-hand book store in Freiburg, Germany, proved extremely useful.21 Another Stühlingen author, Gustav Häusler, wrote a history of his town in 1966, thus providing additional perspectives. 22
Today most surviving administrative, financial, and court records are stored in the archives of Karlsruhe and Donaueschingen; the rest largely fell victim to Stühlingen’s town-hall fires in 1850 and 1904. As chance would have it, a few valuable manuscripts concerning the Jews survived the second fire because Samuel Pletscher,23 a journalist and writer from the adjacent Swiss township of Schleitheim, had borrowed them from the town archive in the 1890s as resources for a newspaper article. They are still in the Schleitheim township archives today.24
19Stein, “Die Juden zu Stühlingen und ihre Nachkommen”; Stein, “Die Juden zu Stühlingen und ihre Nachkommen, 2”; Stein, “Die Juden zu Stühlingen und ihre Nachkommen: Nachtrag.”
20Frank and Stein, “Digging for the Copper-Guggenheim’s Origin.”
21Brandeck, Geschichte der Stadt.
22Häusler, Stühlingen:Vergangenheit und Gegenwart.
23Marti-Weissenbach, “Samuel Pletscher.”
24Samuel Pletscher Collection.