The synagogue during Kristallnacht in 1938
During Kristallnacht from 9-10 November 1938, Hechingen SA men under Reutlingen command destroyed the synagogue in Goldschmiedstraße. Carl Hamburger, cultural official of the jewish community in Hechingen, witnessed the proceedings and recorded his memories of that night during his exile in the USA:
"The night of 9-10 November will stay with me forever. My wife, child Hanni and I had to watch and hear how the interior of our beautiful, smart synagogue was completely destroyed. Only vandals could act like this, only the Huns could destroy in this manner. The Lord’s house would surely have been set alight had there not been a risk to the closely neighbouring houses. At 6 o’clock in the morning, it was all over, the hordes in plain clothes withdrew. Private jewish homes escaped the destruction, only the windows of the shop of Otto Hofheimer were smashed. I looked out onto the street and saw how town workers were shovelling prayer books, prayer shawls and hats back through the broken-in door of the synagogue. There were a lot of people standing in the road looking at the "matter" more closely, some with a malicious look of schadenfreude, others, though there were only a few, threw their hands up and ‘thought their part’. The broken-in doors and windows were nailed shut with boards. That was the end of the synagogue being a house of the Lord; it was a ruin, and it can be said that the venerable jewish community in Hechingen thus ceased to exist."