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The Jewish Community of Demmin

Demmin

A town in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

Documentary evidence of a permanent Jewish settlement can be found at the beginning of the 19th century, when individual Jewish families moved from Deutsch-Krone and Stargard to Demmin. The Jews of Demmin were affiliated with the Jewish community in Stralsund until 1847. They then founded their own Jewish community, to which all Jews of the Demmin District belonged. The Jewish community was headed by chazzan (cantor) Levin Hirsch from 1847 to 1901. In 1848, a synagogue room was established in the residential home of the Jewish tradesman Joseph Elkish on Baustrasse (today Synagogenstrasse). The Jewish schoolchildren attended local schools and received religious instruction, probably by the chazzan Levin Hirsch. A Jewish cemetery was laid out near Kuhtor (today: Luisentor) in 1825. A new burial site was opened near Anklamer Tor (today: 5 Bergstrasse) in 1848. It had been purchased by the Stralsund Jewish community and was in use until 1933. Demmin’s Jewish population grew from 39 persons in 1812 to its peak of 106 in 1850. In the second half of the 19th century, the local Jews made their living in retail and trade. Some worked in the grain trade and wool business. Julius Cohnheim, born in Demmin in 1839, was a well-known researcher in medical science. Born in Demmin in 1880, Erich Kaufmann studied law and became a professor at various German universities.

During the Weimar Republic, Demmin developed into a stronghold of nationalistic organizations. Even before 1933, Jewish businesses were boycotted. This made many Jews leave the town; only a few Jewish families (25 persons) remained in Demmin by 1925. These were mostly elderly people. Due to the low membership rate, no further prayer services could be conducted in Demmin. The community re-affiliated with the synagogue community in Stralsund in 1928/29. In 1933, only seven Jews lived in Demmin. Three shops were still operated by Jews.

On April 1, 1933, the nationwide boycott against Jewish-owned shops and businesses was also implemented in Demmin. Since the few remaining Jewish residents (4 persons in 1938) could no longer obtain the synagogue building, they agreed to sell it to the owner of a furniture company in June 1938. The ritual objects were brought to the Berlin General Archives of the Jews in Germany. On Pogrom Night on November 9, 1938, the former synagogue building was not destroyed. However, the Jewish cemetery was desecrated and tombstones were destroyed. In 1942, the last remaining Jews were deported to the Nazi concentration and death camps in eastern Europe. By the end of 1942, there were no Jews living in Demmin.

After 1945, the cemetery was restored by the local Protestant church. In the early 1990s, the street where the former synagogue building had been located was renamed Synagogenstrasse. The former synagogue building was converted into an apartment house.

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

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.

Place Type:
Town
ID Number:
142497
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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Stralsund

A city in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

First Jewish presence: mid 1400s; peak Jewish population: 172 in 1797; Jewish population in 1933: 160

The city of Stralsund, founded in the mid-1200s, quickly developed into the most prosperous city in northern Germany. Although Jews were allowed to conduct business in Stralsund, they were forbidden to live in the city. By the mid-1400s, however, Jews had been granted permission to live in Stralsund, albeit in ghettos; this medieval community lived on the Judengasse (“Jews’ alley”), where they consecrated a prayer room. As was the case in towns all over Germany, the Jewish community was expelled from Stralsund in 1492.

In 1757, the modern Jewish community was established, numbering 35 Jews in 1766 and 119 in 1784. Thirty years later, in 1786/87, a newly-built, beautiful synagogue consisting of 200 seats was dedicated in the backyard at 69 Langenstrasse. It was the very first synagogue in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Attached to the synagogue was a mikvah (ritual bath). In 1913, the synagogue was completely rebuilt. At its inauguration on September 16, 1913, Stralsund's mayor Ernst August Friedrich Gronow addressed his greetings to the Jewish community, "… that our Jewish fellow citizens may live with their Christian fellow citizens in peace and harmony in this city as before."

Stralsund Jews initially buried their dead outside the city. In 1776, the Christian banker Joachim Ulrich von Giese provided a place for the funeral of a Jewish girl, the daughter of the family Hertz, on the grounds of his estate (Gut Niederhof). This resulted in the development of a small Jewish cemetery. In 1850, a new Jewish cemetery was laid out on Greifswalder Chaussee, which was enlarged in 1912.
The Judengesetz (Jews' law) of 1847 for the Kingdom of Prussia eased the general living conditions of the Jews in Stralsund and led to an increase of their population (169 Jews in 1887). The wealthier Jews resided in neighborhoods that were also favored by rich Christian merchant families. However, the majority of Stralsund Jews lived in poverty. Of particular importance for the city was the settlement of the Jewish merchants Leonhard Tietz and Adolf Wertheim. The latter opened in 1852 the first manufactory and millinery store on Wasserstrasse, the future head office of the Wertheim Group. Leonhard Tietz established a store at 31 Ossenreyerstrasse in 1879.

In 1932/33, approximately 160 Jews lived in Stralsund. Twenty Jewish children received religious instruction. Simon Lemke served as preacher and chazzan (cantor). The chevra kadisha (burial society), founded in 1921, was still active as well as the youth group Berthold Auerbach. Furthermore, branches of the nationwide Jewish organizations Central-Verein (Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith) and Reichsbund Juedischer Frontsoldaten (Reich Federation of Jewish Front Soldiers) were operating in Stralsund in the 1930s. Jews from Ruegen (16 Jews), Barth (12), Grimmen (8), Tribsees (3), Richtenberg (3), Franzburg (5), and Dammgarten (1) were affiliated with the Stralsund Jewish community.
In the 1920s, Stralsund Jews were not particularly affected by the Nazis' anti-Semitic agitation.

from 1933 onwards: in order to implement the anti-Jewish boycott, Nazis placed guards in front of Jewish-owned stores to prevent by force customers entering. A few days later, the town council made the following decision: "The municipality has to halt immediately all business connections with … Jewish traders … The city government has to ensure that no further ritual slaughtering takes place…" Around 1934, while Heinz Cohn and Luise Genzen, a Christian woman, were celebrating their wedding, SA men came to their house at 2 Frankenstrasse, interrupted the festivity and took Cohn into protective custody. The same happened to David Mandelbaum, who was also married to a non-Jewish woman. A foundation founded by the merchant Moses Lazarus Israel to provide scholarships to young men was forcibly merged, by the mayor's decision on November 7, 1939, with a Nazi-related foundation which explicitly excluded Jews. Between 1933 and 1938, almost one-third of the Jewish population left Stralsund. They moved to other German cities or emigrated to different European or overseas countries. In October 1938, approximately 22 Jews of Polish nationality were expelled from Stralsund and transported to Poland.

On Pogrom Night on November 9, 1938, Jewish-owned businesses were looted and windows smashed. At 5 am on November 10, 1938, the synagogue was damaged and set on fire. It did not completely burn down; it was subsequently misused as a classroom and as storage by a local emergency service. Approximately 30 Jewish men were temporarily arrested and twenty of them taken to the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen. A day later, in the evening of November 11, Nazis organized an anti-Semitic demonstration at Alter Markt. In 1944, the former synagogue building was destroyed during an air raid and later torn down (1950). Most of the remaining Jews were deported to Lublin in February 1940. In early 1944, more local Jews were deported from Stralsund, this time to Auschwitz via Stettin. At least 60 Stralsund Jews perished in the Shoah.

After the war, several survivors returned to the city. They intended to found a new Jewish community. However, this attempt was doomed to fail due to their small numbers. In 1955, the Jewish cemetery on Greifswalder Chaussee was declared a historical site. From 1988 until 2009, several memorial plaques and stones were unveiled in Stralsund to commemorate the former Jewish community.

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

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.

Anklam

A town in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, formerly known as Tanglim and Wendenburg.

First Jewish presence: mid-1300s; peak Jewish population: 311 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 43

Jews lived in Anklam from the mid-1300s until the Black Death pogroms, when they were burned at the stake. In 1712, at which point Anklam was under Swedish rule, the authorities issued a ban on Jewish settlement. All bans were annulled in 1812, after which Jews began to return to Anklam. By 1817, a Jewish community had been founded, complete with a prayer room, a cemetery and a school. In order to accommodate the growing community, a synagogue was built and inaugurated in 1841. As a token of gratitude to the local count who granted permission to build the synagogue, the community mounted his portrait on the wall of the synagogue’s foyer. Anti-Semitism became a real problem for Anklam Jews in early 1933 and by 1935 the situation was almost intolerable. Although the synagogue was set on fire on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), it did not burn down completely, and was subsequently used for grain storage. A small plaque was later unveiled at the 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.

Penzlin

A town in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

In Penzlin the Jewish community had an old tradition: the families Salomon, Liebmann, Levin and Bernhard were long established, the Levins made a living from the tobacco trade and had far-reaching business activities. As early as 1749, a Simson Levin had settled in Penzlin on the recommendation of Duchess Auguste. As everywhere else, the number of Jews residing in Penzlin declined quite quickly, with 43 living in 1867 and only 4 in 1930. The community had no Jewish school and no mikvah, but a synagogue and its own cemetery where the last funeral took place in 1923 and which was maintained by a Penzlin family The synagogue, built in 1791, was used as a Catholic church before 1933 and was therefore not destroyed during the Progrom Night on November 9,1938. However, it became part of the surrounding district destroyed by fire after the invasion of the Soviet Army in early May 1945.

In 1933 only the family of Georg and Hertha Pinkus with their son Werner and daughter Hannelore lived in Penzlin. Georg Pinkus was a dealer in textiles. In the First World War he had been a combatant. In 1942, Georg Pinkus (b. on 27.9.1891 in Xions), his wife Hertha nee Jacob (b. on 4.9.1883 in Penzlin) and their daughter Hannelore were deported to a Nazi concentration camp on 7.8.1942. The son Werner (b. 1923), who was in Berlin, immigrated to Britain. 

_____________________________________________________

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.

Teterow

A town in the Rostock district in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1492; peak Jewish population: 116 in 1845; Jewish population in 1933: 17

The earliest record of the Jews of Teterow is dated 1492, the same year in which five Jews were burned at the stake and the rest were banished. Records do not mention another Jewish presence in Teterow until 1762, when a Jewish community was founded there. Although troops were posted in Teterow to enforce the anti-Jewish ordinances of 1933, the local population ignored them. Eventually, however, the situation deteriorated to such an extent that by 1935, the Jewish community was forced to disband. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the abandoned synagogue was ransacked and the roof trusses were torn down. A few weeks later, the city declared the building unsafe and a danger to pedestrians, after which it was torn down. The Jewish cemetery was left unharmed, as it was located outside the city. A memorial plaque was later unveiled at the site where the synagogue once stood. Another plaque has been placed at the cemetery, which is considered one of the best-preserved Jewish cemeteries in the area.

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

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 Demmin

Demmin

A town in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

Documentary evidence of a permanent Jewish settlement can be found at the beginning of the 19th century, when individual Jewish families moved from Deutsch-Krone and Stargard to Demmin. The Jews of Demmin were affiliated with the Jewish community in Stralsund until 1847. They then founded their own Jewish community, to which all Jews of the Demmin District belonged. The Jewish community was headed by chazzan (cantor) Levin Hirsch from 1847 to 1901. In 1848, a synagogue room was established in the residential home of the Jewish tradesman Joseph Elkish on Baustrasse (today Synagogenstrasse). The Jewish schoolchildren attended local schools and received religious instruction, probably by the chazzan Levin Hirsch. A Jewish cemetery was laid out near Kuhtor (today: Luisentor) in 1825. A new burial site was opened near Anklamer Tor (today: 5 Bergstrasse) in 1848. It had been purchased by the Stralsund Jewish community and was in use until 1933. Demmin’s Jewish population grew from 39 persons in 1812 to its peak of 106 in 1850. In the second half of the 19th century, the local Jews made their living in retail and trade. Some worked in the grain trade and wool business. Julius Cohnheim, born in Demmin in 1839, was a well-known researcher in medical science. Born in Demmin in 1880, Erich Kaufmann studied law and became a professor at various German universities.

During the Weimar Republic, Demmin developed into a stronghold of nationalistic organizations. Even before 1933, Jewish businesses were boycotted. This made many Jews leave the town; only a few Jewish families (25 persons) remained in Demmin by 1925. These were mostly elderly people. Due to the low membership rate, no further prayer services could be conducted in Demmin. The community re-affiliated with the synagogue community in Stralsund in 1928/29. In 1933, only seven Jews lived in Demmin. Three shops were still operated by Jews.

On April 1, 1933, the nationwide boycott against Jewish-owned shops and businesses was also implemented in Demmin. Since the few remaining Jewish residents (4 persons in 1938) could no longer obtain the synagogue building, they agreed to sell it to the owner of a furniture company in June 1938. The ritual objects were brought to the Berlin General Archives of the Jews in Germany. On Pogrom Night on November 9, 1938, the former synagogue building was not destroyed. However, the Jewish cemetery was desecrated and tombstones were destroyed. In 1942, the last remaining Jews were deported to the Nazi concentration and death camps in eastern Europe. By the end of 1942, there were no Jews living in Demmin.

After 1945, the cemetery was restored by the local Protestant church. In the early 1990s, the street where the former synagogue building had been located was renamed Synagogenstrasse. The former synagogue building was converted into an apartment house.

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

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.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Teterow
Penzlin
Anklam
Stralsund

Teterow

A town in the Rostock district in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1492; peak Jewish population: 116 in 1845; Jewish population in 1933: 17

The earliest record of the Jews of Teterow is dated 1492, the same year in which five Jews were burned at the stake and the rest were banished. Records do not mention another Jewish presence in Teterow until 1762, when a Jewish community was founded there. Although troops were posted in Teterow to enforce the anti-Jewish ordinances of 1933, the local population ignored them. Eventually, however, the situation deteriorated to such an extent that by 1935, the Jewish community was forced to disband. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the abandoned synagogue was ransacked and the roof trusses were torn down. A few weeks later, the city declared the building unsafe and a danger to pedestrians, after which it was torn down. The Jewish cemetery was left unharmed, as it was located outside the city. A memorial plaque was later unveiled at the site where the synagogue once stood. Another plaque has been placed at the cemetery, which is considered one of the best-preserved Jewish cemeteries in the area.

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

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.

Penzlin

A town in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte district, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

In Penzlin the Jewish community had an old tradition: the families Salomon, Liebmann, Levin and Bernhard were long established, the Levins made a living from the tobacco trade and had far-reaching business activities. As early as 1749, a Simson Levin had settled in Penzlin on the recommendation of Duchess Auguste. As everywhere else, the number of Jews residing in Penzlin declined quite quickly, with 43 living in 1867 and only 4 in 1930. The community had no Jewish school and no mikvah, but a synagogue and its own cemetery where the last funeral took place in 1923 and which was maintained by a Penzlin family The synagogue, built in 1791, was used as a Catholic church before 1933 and was therefore not destroyed during the Progrom Night on November 9,1938. However, it became part of the surrounding district destroyed by fire after the invasion of the Soviet Army in early May 1945.

In 1933 only the family of Georg and Hertha Pinkus with their son Werner and daughter Hannelore lived in Penzlin. Georg Pinkus was a dealer in textiles. In the First World War he had been a combatant. In 1942, Georg Pinkus (b. on 27.9.1891 in Xions), his wife Hertha nee Jacob (b. on 4.9.1883 in Penzlin) and their daughter Hannelore were deported to a Nazi concentration camp on 7.8.1942. The son Werner (b. 1923), who was in Berlin, immigrated to Britain. 

_____________________________________________________

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.

Anklam

A town in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, formerly known as Tanglim and Wendenburg.

First Jewish presence: mid-1300s; peak Jewish population: 311 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 43

Jews lived in Anklam from the mid-1300s until the Black Death pogroms, when they were burned at the stake. In 1712, at which point Anklam was under Swedish rule, the authorities issued a ban on Jewish settlement. All bans were annulled in 1812, after which Jews began to return to Anklam. By 1817, a Jewish community had been founded, complete with a prayer room, a cemetery and a school. In order to accommodate the growing community, a synagogue was built and inaugurated in 1841. As a token of gratitude to the local count who granted permission to build the synagogue, the community mounted his portrait on the wall of the synagogue’s foyer. Anti-Semitism became a real problem for Anklam Jews in early 1933 and by 1935 the situation was almost intolerable. Although the synagogue was set on fire on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), it did not burn down completely, and was subsequently used for grain storage. A small plaque was later unveiled at the 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.

Stralsund

A city in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

First Jewish presence: mid 1400s; peak Jewish population: 172 in 1797; Jewish population in 1933: 160

The city of Stralsund, founded in the mid-1200s, quickly developed into the most prosperous city in northern Germany. Although Jews were allowed to conduct business in Stralsund, they were forbidden to live in the city. By the mid-1400s, however, Jews had been granted permission to live in Stralsund, albeit in ghettos; this medieval community lived on the Judengasse (“Jews’ alley”), where they consecrated a prayer room. As was the case in towns all over Germany, the Jewish community was expelled from Stralsund in 1492.

In 1757, the modern Jewish community was established, numbering 35 Jews in 1766 and 119 in 1784. Thirty years later, in 1786/87, a newly-built, beautiful synagogue consisting of 200 seats was dedicated in the backyard at 69 Langenstrasse. It was the very first synagogue in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Attached to the synagogue was a mikvah (ritual bath). In 1913, the synagogue was completely rebuilt. At its inauguration on September 16, 1913, Stralsund's mayor Ernst August Friedrich Gronow addressed his greetings to the Jewish community, "… that our Jewish fellow citizens may live with their Christian fellow citizens in peace and harmony in this city as before."

Stralsund Jews initially buried their dead outside the city. In 1776, the Christian banker Joachim Ulrich von Giese provided a place for the funeral of a Jewish girl, the daughter of the family Hertz, on the grounds of his estate (Gut Niederhof). This resulted in the development of a small Jewish cemetery. In 1850, a new Jewish cemetery was laid out on Greifswalder Chaussee, which was enlarged in 1912.
The Judengesetz (Jews' law) of 1847 for the Kingdom of Prussia eased the general living conditions of the Jews in Stralsund and led to an increase of their population (169 Jews in 1887). The wealthier Jews resided in neighborhoods that were also favored by rich Christian merchant families. However, the majority of Stralsund Jews lived in poverty. Of particular importance for the city was the settlement of the Jewish merchants Leonhard Tietz and Adolf Wertheim. The latter opened in 1852 the first manufactory and millinery store on Wasserstrasse, the future head office of the Wertheim Group. Leonhard Tietz established a store at 31 Ossenreyerstrasse in 1879.

In 1932/33, approximately 160 Jews lived in Stralsund. Twenty Jewish children received religious instruction. Simon Lemke served as preacher and chazzan (cantor). The chevra kadisha (burial society), founded in 1921, was still active as well as the youth group Berthold Auerbach. Furthermore, branches of the nationwide Jewish organizations Central-Verein (Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith) and Reichsbund Juedischer Frontsoldaten (Reich Federation of Jewish Front Soldiers) were operating in Stralsund in the 1930s. Jews from Ruegen (16 Jews), Barth (12), Grimmen (8), Tribsees (3), Richtenberg (3), Franzburg (5), and Dammgarten (1) were affiliated with the Stralsund Jewish community.
In the 1920s, Stralsund Jews were not particularly affected by the Nazis' anti-Semitic agitation.

from 1933 onwards: in order to implement the anti-Jewish boycott, Nazis placed guards in front of Jewish-owned stores to prevent by force customers entering. A few days later, the town council made the following decision: "The municipality has to halt immediately all business connections with … Jewish traders … The city government has to ensure that no further ritual slaughtering takes place…" Around 1934, while Heinz Cohn and Luise Genzen, a Christian woman, were celebrating their wedding, SA men came to their house at 2 Frankenstrasse, interrupted the festivity and took Cohn into protective custody. The same happened to David Mandelbaum, who was also married to a non-Jewish woman. A foundation founded by the merchant Moses Lazarus Israel to provide scholarships to young men was forcibly merged, by the mayor's decision on November 7, 1939, with a Nazi-related foundation which explicitly excluded Jews. Between 1933 and 1938, almost one-third of the Jewish population left Stralsund. They moved to other German cities or emigrated to different European or overseas countries. In October 1938, approximately 22 Jews of Polish nationality were expelled from Stralsund and transported to Poland.

On Pogrom Night on November 9, 1938, Jewish-owned businesses were looted and windows smashed. At 5 am on November 10, 1938, the synagogue was damaged and set on fire. It did not completely burn down; it was subsequently misused as a classroom and as storage by a local emergency service. Approximately 30 Jewish men were temporarily arrested and twenty of them taken to the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen. A day later, in the evening of November 11, Nazis organized an anti-Semitic demonstration at Alter Markt. In 1944, the former synagogue building was destroyed during an air raid and later torn down (1950). Most of the remaining Jews were deported to Lublin in February 1940. In early 1944, more local Jews were deported from Stralsund, this time to Auschwitz via Stettin. At least 60 Stralsund Jews perished in the Shoah.

After the war, several survivors returned to the city. They intended to found a new Jewish community. However, this attempt was doomed to fail due to their small numbers. In 1955, the Jewish cemetery on Greifswalder Chaussee was declared a historical site. From 1988 until 2009, several memorial plaques and stones were unveiled in Stralsund to commemorate the former Jewish community.

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

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.