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The Jewish Community of Emden

Emden

A city in Lower Saxony, Germany. 

Emden is a seaport, and located on the Ems River.

HISTORY

Legend has it that Jews arrived in Emden during antiquity, both as exiles after the destruction of the First Temple, and as slaves accompanying the Roman legions after the destruction of the Second Temple. The first historical reference to Jews in Emden dates from the second half of the 16th century; David b. Shlomoh Gans mentions the Jews of Emden in his book Tzemach David.

In 1590 the non-Jewish citizens of Emden complained to the emperor’s local representative that the Jews were permitted to follow their religious precepts openly and were exempt from wearing the Jewish badge.

Marranos from Portugal passed through Emden on their way to Amsterdam; a few settled in Emden and returned to practicing Judaism. Moses Uri HaLevy (1594-1620), a rabbi in Emden, ultimately left to settle in Amsterdam along with the Spanish-Portuguese Marranos, where he served as the first chakham of the Portuguese community. Emden’s city council distinguished between the local Jews and the Portuguese, encouraging the latter to settle in the city, while attempting to expel the former. Their attempts, however, were unsuccessful, after the intervention of the duke in their favor. The judicial rights of the Portuguese Jews were defined in a grant of privilege issued by the city council in 1649,
and renewed in 1703.

In 1744, when Emden was annexed to Prussia, the Jews came under Prussian law. After this point, the Jews of Emden would go through cycles of gaining and losing rights. In 1762 anti-Jewish riots broke out in Emden. Then, in 1808, during the rule of Louis Bonaparte, the Jews in Emden were granted equal civil rights. However, these rights were abolished under Hanoverian rule in 1815, and the Jews of Emden were not emancipated until 1842.

A new synagogue was built in 1836; it was later expanded in 1910 to include a mikvah (ritual bath) and additional seating. A Jewish school was established in 1845, and a Talmud Torah was founded in 1896.

Noted rabbis of Emden included Jacob Emden (1728-1733), and Samson Raphael Hirsch (1841-1847).

In 1808 there were 500 Jews living in Emden. The community numbered 900 in 1905, and 1,000 in 1930.

 

THE HOLOCAUST

Many of Emden’s Jews left after the Nazi rise to power. In 1933 the community numbered 581, which decreased to 298 in 1939.

The synagogue was burned down during the Kristallnacht pogrom (November 9-10. 1938).

During World War II (1939-1945) most of the Jews remaining in Emden were deported. 110 Jews were deported from Emden to Lodz.

 

POSTWAR

There were six Jews living in Emden in 1967.

Place Type:
City
ID Number:
116795
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:

Rabbi Samson Weiss (b. 1910) he was ordained rabbi at Mir yeshiva. He headed the Hebrew department of the Jewish teachers' college in Wuerzburg before moving to the United States in 1938. In the US he taught at the Ner Israel yeshiva in Baltimore (1938-40), directed Yeshivath Beth Yehudah in Detroit (1941-44) and was rabbi of Congregation Orach Chaim in New York from 1944. He organized Torah Umesorah, a national association for the promotion of Hebrew day schools. From 1947 he directed the National Council of Young Israel and from 1956 was executive vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America. In 1972 Weiss settled in Israel.

Rabbi Samson Weiss (b. 1910) he was ordained rabbi at Mir yeshiva. He headed the Hebrew department of the Jewish teachers' college in Wuerzburg before moving to the United States in 1938. In the US he taught at the Ner Israel yeshiva in Baltimore (1938-40), directed Yeshivath Beth Yehudah in Detroit (1941-44) and was rabbi of Congregation Orach Chaim in New York from 1944. He organized Torah Umesorah, a national association for the promotion of Hebrew day schools. From 1947 he directed the National Council of Young Israel and from 1956 was executive vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America. In 1972 Weiss settled in Israel.

Rabbi

He was born in Altona, son of Tsevi Hirsch Ashkenazi (Hakham Tsevi). He took his surname from the town where he officiated as rabbi from 1728 to 1733, although he preferred to use the Hebrew acronym Yavets (i.e. Yaakov ben Tsevi). He had a difficult personal life losing two wives in quick succession and several children. He became an unrelenting opponent of Shabbateanism, the pseudo-messianic movement founded by Shabbetai Tsevi. In 1733 he returned to Altona and engaged in business. From 1744 Emden ran a printing press publishing many works reflecting his own interests and outspoken attitudes. These included his own responsa and an annotated prayer book close to the Sephardi tradition. From 1751 he engaged in a bitter battle with Jonathan Eybeschutz, rabbi of Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbeck, whom he accused of being a secret Shabbatean. The conflict had repercussions throughout Europe. Emden's autobiography contains much useful information about the social and religious history of his time.

Haren on Ems

Haren 

A town in the district of Emsland in Lower Saxony, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1766; peak Jewish population: 37 in 1885 (6.2% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 28

Although the Jews of Haren on Ems established a place of worship in the Meyering family home in 1810, they often found it difficult to gather a minyan. A teacher was hired in 1825, but paltry enrollment numbers convinced the community, in 1832, to send its children to the general school; nevertheless, teachers of religious studies (they were usually from Meppen) instructed Jewish children from 1883 until 1930. Although we do not know when Haren’s old Jewish cemetery was established—the records indicate an early date—we know for certain that it was replaced by a new cemetery (located north of the town) in 1907, soon after which, in June of 1909, a synagogue was inaugurated on Zum Pascheberg. The provincial rabbinate was in Emden. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 8, 1938), SA troops and the district’s Nazi leader broke into the synagogue and set it on fire; they then proceeded to ransack Jewish businesses and private property. Jewish men were arrested and interned in Sachsenhausen Nazi concentration camp for several weeks. By the end of 1938, six more Jews had left Haren, of whom five relocated to other places in Germany. Nineteen Jews still lived in Haren in 1939; six were sent to Riga in 1941; and five were moved into a “Jews’ house” in Lingen, from which they were deported to a Nazi concentration camp. In all, six local Jews managed to emigrate after 1933 (three to the United States and three to Argentina). The number of the local Jews who perished in the Holocaust is not known. A Lutheran church was later built on the former synagogue site. Memorials were unveiled there and at the Jewish cemetery in 1981 and 1988, respectively. Memorial “stumbling stones” commemorate 22 former Jewish residents of Haren on Ems.

---------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Neuenhaus

A town in the district of Grafschaft Bentheim in Lower Saxony, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1685; peak Jewish population: 47 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: unknown

This town is referred to in different sources as either Neuenhaus or Veldhausen/Neuenhaus. Today, Veldhausen is a district of Neuenhaus. Although the Jewish community of Neuenhaus built a synagogue on Klinkhamerstrasse during the years 1847 to 1858, it was not until 1913 that a synagogue community was formed in cooperation with the smaller Jewish communities of Uelsen, Veldhausen and Emlichheim. In 1856, the community established a school in Nordhorn; later, in 1896, a Jewish school was finally opened in Neuenhaus. Records mention that a cemetery was consecrated in Neuenhaus in the 17th century, but the earliest known burial was conducted there in 1769. Neuenhaus belonged to the provincial rabbinate in Emden. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue was ransacked, Jewish owned businesses and homes were vandalized and Jewish men were deported to Sachsenhausen, where they were interned for several weeks. The following day, a Christian woman arrived at the local Nazi headquarters and protested the outrage by surrendering the medal her mother had been given after the death of her son in World War I. It was not until after Pogrom Night that Jews began to leave Neuenhaus in large numbers; some of them fled to the Netherlands. The remaining Jews were eventually moved into the Reis family home. On July 7, 1942, a member of the Reis family passed away; and on July 29, 1942, the others were deported, most likely to Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp—none survived. Records indicate that only one local Jew survived the war, making Neuenhaus one of the hardest-hit communities in Lower Saxony. In 1977, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site.

-------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Norden

A town in the district of Aurich, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the North Sea shore, in East Frisia.

First Jewish presence: 1255; peak Jewish population: 329 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 204

In 1804, the Jewish community of Norden established a new synagogue on present-day 1 Synagogenweg (“synagogue road”); another building housed a school and a mikveh, the latter of which was located in the basement. After 1858, at the latest, Norden was home to a public Jewish school. The provincial rabbinate was in nearby Emden. By 1933, the Jewish communities of Hage, Marienhafe, Norderney and Upgant-Schott had been affiliated with Norden. Seventy Jews had left the town by November 1938. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), SA men set the synagogue on fire, after which they accused the teacher and synagogue caretaker of the crime; together with many other local Jews, both were arrested. The damage was estimated at 150,000 Reichsmarks. Sixty-six Jews immigrated to safe locations. At least 94 perished in the ghettos and concentration camps of Eastern Europe, among them some who had fled to the Netherlands. Three Norden Jews committed suicide. Three Jewish survivors (two women and one man) returned to Norden after the war, at which point the synagogue was being used as a garage. A memorial was erected on the site in 1987. The cemetery—it was enlarged after the Shoah—was desecrated in 1978 and again in 1981.

----------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Aurich

A town near the river Ems in the district of East Frisia, Lower Saxony, Germany.

Jews from Italy first settled in Aurich apparently around 1378 following an invitation from the ruler of the region. This community came to an end in the 15th century. In 1592 two Jews were permitted to perform as musicians in the villages around Aurich. A new community was formed by 1647 when the court Jew Samson Kalman ben Abraham settled there. He was the court Jew of the Earl of east Frisia. Aurich was the seat of the "Landparnass" and "Landrabbiner" of east Friesland from 1686 until 1813, when they were transferred to Emden.

A cemetery was opened in Aurich in 1764; the synagogue was consecrated in 1811. Under Dutch rule (1807-1815) the Jews enjoyed the civil rights which they had lost in 1744 under Prussian rule.

By 1744 ten families had settled in Aurich. Their number increased steadily and by the time Napoleon granted full political and civil rights to the Jews of east Frisia (1808), Aurich had 16 Jewish families, who in total numbered 180 inhabitants. Their number increased to 600 by the end of the 19th century, about 8% of the total population. Due to the move out of the rural settlements caused by the industrialization, the number of Jewish inhabitants of Aurich decreased at the beginning of the 20th century.

Most of the Jews of Aurich traded in cattle, farm products and textiles. Others were butchers. They had considerable influence on the economic life of the town, for example no market day was held on the Sabbath. In 1933, the year of the Nazis' rise to power in Germany, the Jewish community of Aurich numbered 400 persons.

 

The Holocaust Period

Numerous Jews from Aurich were able to emigrate during the first years of the Nazi regime. After the invasion of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany, the remaining Jews of east Frisia were deported in 1940, among them were 140 Jews from Aurich. The Jewish community ceased to exist.

Dornum

A village in the East Frisian district of Aurich, in Lower Saxony, Germany.

The first Jewish presence in Dornum dates back to the middle of the 17th century. However, only one Jewish family was granted the right of settlement. In 1717 a big flood killed 20% of the population and caused great damage to the agriculture. Thereafter, a growing number of Jewish families were allowed to settle in the area in order to stimulate the local economy. In 1730 ten Jewish families were registered in Dornum. Their number increased over the years to eighteen families by 1903 (10 % of the total population). At the beginning of the 20th century economic and increased industrialization caused many Jews to leave Dornum for bigger towns and cities. Thus their number decreased to twelve families in 1927 and to ten in 1933.

Among the Jews who left Dornum was Miene (Minnie) Schoenberg who emigrated with her parents to the United States in 1879 where three of her sons entered into show business and became the famous "Marx Brothers”.

The majority of the Jews in Dornum traded in livestock or were merchants and butchers. Between 1744-1807 they lived under Prussian law which restricted their range of professions as well as their right of settlement. The industrialization of the early 20th century attracted many of Dornum’s Jews to bigger places. In 1933 the Jewish community numbered 52 persons.

The Holocaust Period

Most of the Jewish population of Dornum were murdered in the concentration and death camps, to which they were sent by the Nazis some time after the outbreak of World War II (September 1939). When in 1940 the last Jew was deported, the Jewish community of Dornum ceased to exist.

Leer

A town in the district of Leer in Lower Saxony, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1611; peak Jewish population: 306 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: unknown

In 1925, 289 Jews lived in Leer, making the community the third-largest in East Friesland. Leer was home to a Jewish cemetery by the middle of the 17th century. The last burial conducted there before the Shoah took place on June 11, 1939. A Jewish school was established on Kirchstrasse at some point between 1840 and 1850; later, during the first decade of the 20th century, the community opened a new school—the building housed an apartment for a teacher—on Deichstrasse (present-day 14 Ubbo-Emmius-Strasse). The synagogue on Heisfelder Strasse was inaugurated in 1885.

On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), SA men set the synagogue on fire. Jews from Leer and the surrounding areas were assembled at the fairgrounds; the women and children were later released, but the men were sent (via Oldenburg) to Sachsenhausen, where they were interned until the end of December 1938 (possibly January 1939). In late January 1940, local Jews were ordered to leave East Friesland by April 1, 1940. By then, Jewish properties had been confiscated, and Jews had been forcibly moved into the ghetto located at the corner of Groninger and Kampstrasse. The Jewish school was closed on February 23, 1940, and the ghetto was liquidated on October 23, 1941. In March 1943, the municipality bought the Jewish cemetery, after which, in May of that same year, Dutch slave laborers were forced to remove the gravestones from the oldest section of the Jewish cemetery. Approximately 20 to 30 Leer Jews survived the war. Miriam Hermann, one of the survivors, was deported to Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp on February 10, 1945. Almost 90% of the community perished in the Shoah. After the war, a stone tablet bearing the ten commandments— it had once stood above the synagogue door—was found in a neighboring vegetable garden; in 1984, the tablet was transferred to the Ichud-Shviat-Tzion synagogue on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. During the years 1946 to 1985, six Jews were buried in the oldest part of the Jewish cemetery, which was returned to the Jewish community in 1953. Memorial plaques were unveiled at the former synagogue site (on September 12, 1961) and at the cemetery.

------------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

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The Jewish Community of Emden

Emden

A city in Lower Saxony, Germany. 

Emden is a seaport, and located on the Ems River.

HISTORY

Legend has it that Jews arrived in Emden during antiquity, both as exiles after the destruction of the First Temple, and as slaves accompanying the Roman legions after the destruction of the Second Temple. The first historical reference to Jews in Emden dates from the second half of the 16th century; David b. Shlomoh Gans mentions the Jews of Emden in his book Tzemach David.

In 1590 the non-Jewish citizens of Emden complained to the emperor’s local representative that the Jews were permitted to follow their religious precepts openly and were exempt from wearing the Jewish badge.

Marranos from Portugal passed through Emden on their way to Amsterdam; a few settled in Emden and returned to practicing Judaism. Moses Uri HaLevy (1594-1620), a rabbi in Emden, ultimately left to settle in Amsterdam along with the Spanish-Portuguese Marranos, where he served as the first chakham of the Portuguese community. Emden’s city council distinguished between the local Jews and the Portuguese, encouraging the latter to settle in the city, while attempting to expel the former. Their attempts, however, were unsuccessful, after the intervention of the duke in their favor. The judicial rights of the Portuguese Jews were defined in a grant of privilege issued by the city council in 1649,
and renewed in 1703.

In 1744, when Emden was annexed to Prussia, the Jews came under Prussian law. After this point, the Jews of Emden would go through cycles of gaining and losing rights. In 1762 anti-Jewish riots broke out in Emden. Then, in 1808, during the rule of Louis Bonaparte, the Jews in Emden were granted equal civil rights. However, these rights were abolished under Hanoverian rule in 1815, and the Jews of Emden were not emancipated until 1842.

A new synagogue was built in 1836; it was later expanded in 1910 to include a mikvah (ritual bath) and additional seating. A Jewish school was established in 1845, and a Talmud Torah was founded in 1896.

Noted rabbis of Emden included Jacob Emden (1728-1733), and Samson Raphael Hirsch (1841-1847).

In 1808 there were 500 Jews living in Emden. The community numbered 900 in 1905, and 1,000 in 1930.

 

THE HOLOCAUST

Many of Emden’s Jews left after the Nazi rise to power. In 1933 the community numbered 581, which decreased to 298 in 1939.

The synagogue was burned down during the Kristallnacht pogrom (November 9-10. 1938).

During World War II (1939-1945) most of the Jews remaining in Emden were deported. 110 Jews were deported from Emden to Lodz.

 

POSTWAR

There were six Jews living in Emden in 1967.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Leer
Lower Saxony - Niedersachsen
Dornum
Aurich
Norden
Neuenhaus
Haren on Ems

Leer

A town in the district of Leer in Lower Saxony, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1611; peak Jewish population: 306 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: unknown

In 1925, 289 Jews lived in Leer, making the community the third-largest in East Friesland. Leer was home to a Jewish cemetery by the middle of the 17th century. The last burial conducted there before the Shoah took place on June 11, 1939. A Jewish school was established on Kirchstrasse at some point between 1840 and 1850; later, during the first decade of the 20th century, the community opened a new school—the building housed an apartment for a teacher—on Deichstrasse (present-day 14 Ubbo-Emmius-Strasse). The synagogue on Heisfelder Strasse was inaugurated in 1885.

On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), SA men set the synagogue on fire. Jews from Leer and the surrounding areas were assembled at the fairgrounds; the women and children were later released, but the men were sent (via Oldenburg) to Sachsenhausen, where they were interned until the end of December 1938 (possibly January 1939). In late January 1940, local Jews were ordered to leave East Friesland by April 1, 1940. By then, Jewish properties had been confiscated, and Jews had been forcibly moved into the ghetto located at the corner of Groninger and Kampstrasse. The Jewish school was closed on February 23, 1940, and the ghetto was liquidated on October 23, 1941. In March 1943, the municipality bought the Jewish cemetery, after which, in May of that same year, Dutch slave laborers were forced to remove the gravestones from the oldest section of the Jewish cemetery. Approximately 20 to 30 Leer Jews survived the war. Miriam Hermann, one of the survivors, was deported to Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp on February 10, 1945. Almost 90% of the community perished in the Shoah. After the war, a stone tablet bearing the ten commandments— it had once stood above the synagogue door—was found in a neighboring vegetable garden; in 1984, the tablet was transferred to the Ichud-Shviat-Tzion synagogue on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv. During the years 1946 to 1985, six Jews were buried in the oldest part of the Jewish cemetery, which was returned to the Jewish community in 1953. Memorial plaques were unveiled at the former synagogue site (on September 12, 1961) and at the cemetery.

------------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Dornum

A village in the East Frisian district of Aurich, in Lower Saxony, Germany.

The first Jewish presence in Dornum dates back to the middle of the 17th century. However, only one Jewish family was granted the right of settlement. In 1717 a big flood killed 20% of the population and caused great damage to the agriculture. Thereafter, a growing number of Jewish families were allowed to settle in the area in order to stimulate the local economy. In 1730 ten Jewish families were registered in Dornum. Their number increased over the years to eighteen families by 1903 (10 % of the total population). At the beginning of the 20th century economic and increased industrialization caused many Jews to leave Dornum for bigger towns and cities. Thus their number decreased to twelve families in 1927 and to ten in 1933.

Among the Jews who left Dornum was Miene (Minnie) Schoenberg who emigrated with her parents to the United States in 1879 where three of her sons entered into show business and became the famous "Marx Brothers”.

The majority of the Jews in Dornum traded in livestock or were merchants and butchers. Between 1744-1807 they lived under Prussian law which restricted their range of professions as well as their right of settlement. The industrialization of the early 20th century attracted many of Dornum’s Jews to bigger places. In 1933 the Jewish community numbered 52 persons.

The Holocaust Period

Most of the Jewish population of Dornum were murdered in the concentration and death camps, to which they were sent by the Nazis some time after the outbreak of World War II (September 1939). When in 1940 the last Jew was deported, the Jewish community of Dornum ceased to exist.

Aurich

A town near the river Ems in the district of East Frisia, Lower Saxony, Germany.

Jews from Italy first settled in Aurich apparently around 1378 following an invitation from the ruler of the region. This community came to an end in the 15th century. In 1592 two Jews were permitted to perform as musicians in the villages around Aurich. A new community was formed by 1647 when the court Jew Samson Kalman ben Abraham settled there. He was the court Jew of the Earl of east Frisia. Aurich was the seat of the "Landparnass" and "Landrabbiner" of east Friesland from 1686 until 1813, when they were transferred to Emden.

A cemetery was opened in Aurich in 1764; the synagogue was consecrated in 1811. Under Dutch rule (1807-1815) the Jews enjoyed the civil rights which they had lost in 1744 under Prussian rule.

By 1744 ten families had settled in Aurich. Their number increased steadily and by the time Napoleon granted full political and civil rights to the Jews of east Frisia (1808), Aurich had 16 Jewish families, who in total numbered 180 inhabitants. Their number increased to 600 by the end of the 19th century, about 8% of the total population. Due to the move out of the rural settlements caused by the industrialization, the number of Jewish inhabitants of Aurich decreased at the beginning of the 20th century.

Most of the Jews of Aurich traded in cattle, farm products and textiles. Others were butchers. They had considerable influence on the economic life of the town, for example no market day was held on the Sabbath. In 1933, the year of the Nazis' rise to power in Germany, the Jewish community of Aurich numbered 400 persons.

 

The Holocaust Period

Numerous Jews from Aurich were able to emigrate during the first years of the Nazi regime. After the invasion of the Netherlands by Nazi Germany, the remaining Jews of east Frisia were deported in 1940, among them were 140 Jews from Aurich. The Jewish community ceased to exist.

Norden

A town in the district of Aurich, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the North Sea shore, in East Frisia.

First Jewish presence: 1255; peak Jewish population: 329 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 204

In 1804, the Jewish community of Norden established a new synagogue on present-day 1 Synagogenweg (“synagogue road”); another building housed a school and a mikveh, the latter of which was located in the basement. After 1858, at the latest, Norden was home to a public Jewish school. The provincial rabbinate was in nearby Emden. By 1933, the Jewish communities of Hage, Marienhafe, Norderney and Upgant-Schott had been affiliated with Norden. Seventy Jews had left the town by November 1938. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), SA men set the synagogue on fire, after which they accused the teacher and synagogue caretaker of the crime; together with many other local Jews, both were arrested. The damage was estimated at 150,000 Reichsmarks. Sixty-six Jews immigrated to safe locations. At least 94 perished in the ghettos and concentration camps of Eastern Europe, among them some who had fled to the Netherlands. Three Norden Jews committed suicide. Three Jewish survivors (two women and one man) returned to Norden after the war, at which point the synagogue was being used as a garage. A memorial was erected on the site in 1987. The cemetery—it was enlarged after the Shoah—was desecrated in 1978 and again in 1981.

----------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Neuenhaus

A town in the district of Grafschaft Bentheim in Lower Saxony, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1685; peak Jewish population: 47 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: unknown

This town is referred to in different sources as either Neuenhaus or Veldhausen/Neuenhaus. Today, Veldhausen is a district of Neuenhaus. Although the Jewish community of Neuenhaus built a synagogue on Klinkhamerstrasse during the years 1847 to 1858, it was not until 1913 that a synagogue community was formed in cooperation with the smaller Jewish communities of Uelsen, Veldhausen and Emlichheim. In 1856, the community established a school in Nordhorn; later, in 1896, a Jewish school was finally opened in Neuenhaus. Records mention that a cemetery was consecrated in Neuenhaus in the 17th century, but the earliest known burial was conducted there in 1769. Neuenhaus belonged to the provincial rabbinate in Emden. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue was ransacked, Jewish owned businesses and homes were vandalized and Jewish men were deported to Sachsenhausen, where they were interned for several weeks. The following day, a Christian woman arrived at the local Nazi headquarters and protested the outrage by surrendering the medal her mother had been given after the death of her son in World War I. It was not until after Pogrom Night that Jews began to leave Neuenhaus in large numbers; some of them fled to the Netherlands. The remaining Jews were eventually moved into the Reis family home. On July 7, 1942, a member of the Reis family passed away; and on July 29, 1942, the others were deported, most likely to Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp—none survived. Records indicate that only one local Jew survived the war, making Neuenhaus one of the hardest-hit communities in Lower Saxony. In 1977, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site.

-------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Haren on Ems

Haren 

A town in the district of Emsland in Lower Saxony, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1766; peak Jewish population: 37 in 1885 (6.2% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 28

Although the Jews of Haren on Ems established a place of worship in the Meyering family home in 1810, they often found it difficult to gather a minyan. A teacher was hired in 1825, but paltry enrollment numbers convinced the community, in 1832, to send its children to the general school; nevertheless, teachers of religious studies (they were usually from Meppen) instructed Jewish children from 1883 until 1930. Although we do not know when Haren’s old Jewish cemetery was established—the records indicate an early date—we know for certain that it was replaced by a new cemetery (located north of the town) in 1907, soon after which, in June of 1909, a synagogue was inaugurated on Zum Pascheberg. The provincial rabbinate was in Emden. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 8, 1938), SA troops and the district’s Nazi leader broke into the synagogue and set it on fire; they then proceeded to ransack Jewish businesses and private property. Jewish men were arrested and interned in Sachsenhausen Nazi concentration camp for several weeks. By the end of 1938, six more Jews had left Haren, of whom five relocated to other places in Germany. Nineteen Jews still lived in Haren in 1939; six were sent to Riga in 1941; and five were moved into a “Jews’ house” in Lingen, from which they were deported to a Nazi concentration camp. In all, six local Jews managed to emigrate after 1933 (three to the United States and three to Argentina). The number of the local Jews who perished in the Holocaust is not known. A Lutheran church was later built on the former synagogue site. Memorials were unveiled there and at the Jewish cemetery in 1981 and 1988, respectively. Memorial “stumbling stones” commemorate 22 former Jewish residents of Haren on Ems.

---------------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Emden, Jacob
Samson Weiss
Rabbi

He was born in Altona, son of Tsevi Hirsch Ashkenazi (Hakham Tsevi). He took his surname from the town where he officiated as rabbi from 1728 to 1733, although he preferred to use the Hebrew acronym Yavets (i.e. Yaakov ben Tsevi). He had a difficult personal life losing two wives in quick succession and several children. He became an unrelenting opponent of Shabbateanism, the pseudo-messianic movement founded by Shabbetai Tsevi. In 1733 he returned to Altona and engaged in business. From 1744 Emden ran a printing press publishing many works reflecting his own interests and outspoken attitudes. These included his own responsa and an annotated prayer book close to the Sephardi tradition. From 1751 he engaged in a bitter battle with Jonathan Eybeschutz, rabbi of Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbeck, whom he accused of being a secret Shabbatean. The conflict had repercussions throughout Europe. Emden's autobiography contains much useful information about the social and religious history of his time.

Rabbi Samson Weiss (b. 1910) he was ordained rabbi at Mir yeshiva. He headed the Hebrew department of the Jewish teachers' college in Wuerzburg before moving to the United States in 1938. In the US he taught at the Ner Israel yeshiva in Baltimore (1938-40), directed Yeshivath Beth Yehudah in Detroit (1941-44) and was rabbi of Congregation Orach Chaim in New York from 1944. He organized Torah Umesorah, a national association for the promotion of Hebrew day schools. From 1947 he directed the National Council of Young Israel and from 1956 was executive vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America. In 1972 Weiss settled in Israel.

Samson Weiss

Rabbi Samson Weiss (b. 1910) he was ordained rabbi at Mir yeshiva. He headed the Hebrew department of the Jewish teachers' college in Wuerzburg before moving to the United States in 1938. In the US he taught at the Ner Israel yeshiva in Baltimore (1938-40), directed Yeshivath Beth Yehudah in Detroit (1941-44) and was rabbi of Congregation Orach Chaim in New York from 1944. He organized Torah Umesorah, a national association for the promotion of Hebrew day schools. From 1947 he directed the National Council of Young Israel and from 1956 was executive vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America. In 1972 Weiss settled in Israel.