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The Jewish Community of Saarwellingen

Saarwellingen

A municipality in the district of Saarlouis in Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1671; peak Jewish population: 191 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: 134

The Jews of Saarwellingen conducted services in a prayer room, first mentioned in records from 1771, until 1832, when a synagogue was inaugurated at 10 Engelstrasse (construction commenced in 1829). The community also maintained an elementary school (which became a public Jewish school in 1891), a mikveh and a cemetery. Saarwellingen’s Jewish cemetery was consecrated in 1725, desecrated in 1884 and enlarged in 1920. Sixteen children attended the school in 1933. In 1935, after the Saar region was annexed to Germany, many Jews left Saarwellingen (63 emigrated). On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue’s interior was destroyed, Jewish homes were vandalized and Jews were assaulted. A few days later, Jews were loaded onto a bus and sent to the French border, where they were refused entry by the French authorities. Saarwellingen’s remaining Jews were forcibly moved into one house from which, on October 22, 1940, they were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France. At least 66 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue—the municipality appropriated the building after Pogrom Night—was damaged severely during the war; a residential building, built during the years 1951 to 1954, now stands on synagogue’s original foundations. In 2002, the former Jewish school (a memorial plaque is affixed to the building) was named Leo Gruenfeld House, after a Jewish teacher who perished in Auschwitz. Saarwellingen’s Jewish cemetery, which had been leveled at the end of the war, was later partially restored.

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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:
Village
ID Number:
16750403
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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Related items:

Gurs internment camp

The Gurs camp was an internment camp built in France at Gurs near Oloron-Sainte-Marie in the Basses-Pyrénées (currently Pyrénées-Atlantiques) department by the French government of Édouard Daladier between March 15 and April 25 1939 to intern people fleeing Spain after the victory of the Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War. 

Following the armistice of June 22, 1940 , signed with Germany by the French government of Pétain , the camp was used as a mixed internment camp to accommodate Jews of all nationalities - except French - captured and deported by the Nazi regime in countries under its control (Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands). Nearly 4,000 Jews were transferred from Gurs to the Drancy camp between August 6, 1942 and March 3, 1943. They were subsequently deported to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and almost all were murdered there.

Saarlouis

A city in the Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1685; peak Jewish population: 480 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 364

The earliest record of a Jewish presence in Saarlouis is dated 1685. Although many of the town’s Jewish-owned business were attacked and severely damaged after the decision was made (in 1919) to place the Saarland region under the auspices of the League of Nations, Saarlouis’ Jewish community continued to grow and peaked in 1925. Jews conducted services in prayer rooms until 1828, when the community inaugurated a synagogue, with a mikveh and an elementary school, on Silberherzstrasse (Postgaesschen). The school was closed in 1875, after which the community employed a teacher/chazzan; another functionary served as shochet and as an aide to the chazzan. Saarlouis’ Jewish cemetery was consecrated in 1905, and we also know that the synagogue was renovated in 1878 and again in 1915. In 1933, 364 Jews lived in Saarlouis and the nearby villages; several Jewish associations and branches of nation-wide organizations were active in the community that year. Most Jews left Saarlouis after the Saarland was returned to Germany in March 1935. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the five remaining Jewish owned businesses were destroyed and looted, as was the synagogue’s interior. Several Jews were assaulted that night. In September 1939, Saarlouis’ remaining 18 Jews were forced to leave the town: 15 emigrated from Germany; three were deported to the Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. Saarlouis’ Jewish cemetery, severely damaged during the war, is now a memorial site. The synagogue building—it served as a carpenter’s shop at some point—was converted into a church in 1968. In 1986, three years after the structure was demolished, a new building was erected on the site; inside, a memorial room was built in honor of the destroyed Jewish community and its former synagogue.

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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.

Saarbruecken
Saarbrücken
 
Capital and largest city of the state of Saarland, Germany.

Jews were probably present in the city in 1321 when Duke John I granted the city its charter and reserved jurisdiction over the Jews. It is certain, however, that there were Jews in the adjacent villages of St. Wendel, Sarrebourg, and Sarreguemines at the time. There are no further sources mentioning the presence of Jews until 1732 when a Judenordnung ("Jewry regulation") was issued for the Saarbrucken community by the count of Usingen-Nassau.
During the French occupation (1792--1813) equality was granted and a Saarbrucken arrondissement was established with a Jewish population of 71. The Saarbrucken community grew from 10 families in 1837 to 376 persons in 1885 and 1,103 in 1910. Between 1920 and 1935 the Saar region was administered by the League of Nations. The Saarbrucken community grew to 2,650, with another 1,700 Jews were dispersed in 23 rural communities. At the time of the 1935 plebiscite on the future of the region the Jews were accused of disloyalty and subjected to intensive harassment. Large numbers of Jews chose French and Belgian citizenship and many emigrated with special "Nansen" passports. The Saarbrucken synagogue was burned down on the Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938) and by the summer of 1939 only 177 Jews were left. The Jews of the Saar were deported, together with the Jews of Baden, to Gurs concentration camp in 1940.
After WW2 a new community was founded which grew from 60 in 1945-19466 to 224 in 1948 and 350 in January 1970. A new synagogue was built in 1951.

Merzig

A town and the capital of the district Merzig-Wadern in Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 223 in 1846; Jewish population in 1933: 200

Merzig authorities closed this community’s prayer room, which was located in a private residence, in or around the year 1729, and it was not until 1780 that Jews were permitted to establish another. The town was home to a Jewish cemetery (consecrated before 1748 and enlarged in 1904 and again in 1910) and, after 1842, to a synagogue on the corner of Rehstrasse and Neustrasse. Merzig Jews maintained a Jewish school from 1823 until 1876, after which the community employed a teacher of religion, who also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. In 1933, approximately 200 Jews still lived in Merzig. Seventeen children studied religion that year, and nine Jewish associations were active in the community, with which the Jews of Brotdorf and Hilbringen were affiliated. Most Jews left Merzig after the Saarland region was returned to the German Reich in March 1935. Accordingly, the community was disbanded in 1937. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue was set on fire, Jewish-owned homes and businesses were vandalized and the cemetery was largely destroyed. The synagogue building was subsequently repaired and used by the municipality until 1944, when the building was destroyed during an air raid. On October 22, 1940, at least seven Merzig Jews were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France. At least 44 local Jews perished during the Shoah. The cemetery, restored in 1949, houses a memorial plaque (unveiled there that same year). A plaque was also erected at the former synagogue site in 1961; and in 1976, one year after the street on which the synagogue once stood was renamed Synagogenstrasse (“synagogue street”), a new plaque was unveiled at the site.

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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.

Neuenkirchen

A town and a municipality in the Neuenkirchen district in Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1776; peak Jewish population: 234 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 211

The Jewish community of Neunkirchen established its communal institutions during the 19th century: a cemetery in 1831 (enlarged in 1880); a community center with a prayer room in 1847; a synagogue, built on the ruins of a Renaissance castle, in 1865 (renovated in 1921/22); and a school, presided over by a teacher who also served as chazzan and shochet, at some point during the 19th century. In 1933, a total 211 Jews lived in Neunkirchen and in the affiliated communities of Elversberg, Spiesen, Schiffweiler and Wiebelskirchen. A chevra kadisha, a Jewish women’s association and a youth group were active in the community. Most Jews left Neunkirchen after the Saarland was returned to the German Reich in March 1935. Local Jews were assaulted and arrested on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), and the synagogue was burned down. Cleared in 1939, the synagogue site was sold to the municipality in 1942. Neunkirchen’s Jewish cemetery, desecrated in 1938/39, was later bought by a local brewer. One hundred and ten Neunkirchen Jews emigrated; 59 relocated within Germany; and seven, the last, were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France, on October 22, 1940, and to the Drancy camp, also in France, in February 1944. At least 60 Neunkirchen Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1945, a combined residential and commercial building was built on the former synagogue site (present-day address: Oberer Markt/Irrgartenstrasse); in 1978, a commemorative plaque was erected there. A memorial has also been unveiled at the cemetery, which, since its reopening in 1955, has been repeatedly vandalized. The new, small Jewish community of Neunkirchen was founded in 1970.

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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.

Sankt Wendel

St. Wendel

A town in northeastern Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1358 (perhaps earlier); peak Jewish population: 143 in 1923; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (130 in 1932)

The earliest available record of a Jewish presence in Sankt Wendel is from 1358. We do not know when or why Jews left the area, but records do tell us that it was not until 1862 that a Jewish presence was re-established in Sankt Wendel. The Jewish community of Sankt Wendel was officially recognized in 1920. Jews conducted services in a prayer room, established in a private home in 1869, until 1902, when the community inaugurated a synagogue on Kelsweilerstrasse; the synagogue, which seated 84 men and 52 women, was renovated in 1932. The community also maintained a cemetery (consecrated in 1871), a school and a mikveh. After the Saarland region was returned to the German Reich in March 1935, most Jews left: 19 Jews lived in Sankt Wendel in 1937, nine in 1938. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue’s interior was demolished, after which the building was burned down. The municipality purchased the site, which had already been cleared, in 1942. On October 22, 1940, Sankt Wendel’s last four Jews were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France. At least 32 Sankt Wendel Jews perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue, sold in 1951 to a private individual, was converted into a residential building, to which a memorial plaque was affixed in 1981. Earlier, in 1972, a memorial stone was unveiled at the cemetery.

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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 Saarwellingen

Saarwellingen

A municipality in the district of Saarlouis in Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1671; peak Jewish population: 191 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: 134

The Jews of Saarwellingen conducted services in a prayer room, first mentioned in records from 1771, until 1832, when a synagogue was inaugurated at 10 Engelstrasse (construction commenced in 1829). The community also maintained an elementary school (which became a public Jewish school in 1891), a mikveh and a cemetery. Saarwellingen’s Jewish cemetery was consecrated in 1725, desecrated in 1884 and enlarged in 1920. Sixteen children attended the school in 1933. In 1935, after the Saar region was annexed to Germany, many Jews left Saarwellingen (63 emigrated). On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue’s interior was destroyed, Jewish homes were vandalized and Jews were assaulted. A few days later, Jews were loaded onto a bus and sent to the French border, where they were refused entry by the French authorities. Saarwellingen’s remaining Jews were forcibly moved into one house from which, on October 22, 1940, they were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France. At least 66 local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue—the municipality appropriated the building after Pogrom Night—was damaged severely during the war; a residential building, built during the years 1951 to 1954, now stands on synagogue’s original foundations. In 2002, the former Jewish school (a memorial plaque is affixed to the building) was named Leo Gruenfeld House, after a Jewish teacher who perished in Auschwitz. Saarwellingen’s Jewish cemetery, which had been leveled at the end of the war, was later partially restored.

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

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

Sankt Wendel
Neuenkirchen, Saarland
Merzig
Saarbruecken
Saarlouis
Gurs

Sankt Wendel

St. Wendel

A town in northeastern Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1358 (perhaps earlier); peak Jewish population: 143 in 1923; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (130 in 1932)

The earliest available record of a Jewish presence in Sankt Wendel is from 1358. We do not know when or why Jews left the area, but records do tell us that it was not until 1862 that a Jewish presence was re-established in Sankt Wendel. The Jewish community of Sankt Wendel was officially recognized in 1920. Jews conducted services in a prayer room, established in a private home in 1869, until 1902, when the community inaugurated a synagogue on Kelsweilerstrasse; the synagogue, which seated 84 men and 52 women, was renovated in 1932. The community also maintained a cemetery (consecrated in 1871), a school and a mikveh. After the Saarland region was returned to the German Reich in March 1935, most Jews left: 19 Jews lived in Sankt Wendel in 1937, nine in 1938. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue’s interior was demolished, after which the building was burned down. The municipality purchased the site, which had already been cleared, in 1942. On October 22, 1940, Sankt Wendel’s last four Jews were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France. At least 32 Sankt Wendel Jews perished in the Shoah. The former synagogue, sold in 1951 to a private individual, was converted into a residential building, to which a memorial plaque was affixed in 1981. Earlier, in 1972, a memorial stone was unveiled 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.

Neuenkirchen

A town and a municipality in the Neuenkirchen district in Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1776; peak Jewish population: 234 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 211

The Jewish community of Neunkirchen established its communal institutions during the 19th century: a cemetery in 1831 (enlarged in 1880); a community center with a prayer room in 1847; a synagogue, built on the ruins of a Renaissance castle, in 1865 (renovated in 1921/22); and a school, presided over by a teacher who also served as chazzan and shochet, at some point during the 19th century. In 1933, a total 211 Jews lived in Neunkirchen and in the affiliated communities of Elversberg, Spiesen, Schiffweiler and Wiebelskirchen. A chevra kadisha, a Jewish women’s association and a youth group were active in the community. Most Jews left Neunkirchen after the Saarland was returned to the German Reich in March 1935. Local Jews were assaulted and arrested on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), and the synagogue was burned down. Cleared in 1939, the synagogue site was sold to the municipality in 1942. Neunkirchen’s Jewish cemetery, desecrated in 1938/39, was later bought by a local brewer. One hundred and ten Neunkirchen Jews emigrated; 59 relocated within Germany; and seven, the last, were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France, on October 22, 1940, and to the Drancy camp, also in France, in February 1944. At least 60 Neunkirchen Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1945, a combined residential and commercial building was built on the former synagogue site (present-day address: Oberer Markt/Irrgartenstrasse); in 1978, a commemorative plaque was erected there. A memorial has also been unveiled at the cemetery, which, since its reopening in 1955, has been repeatedly vandalized. The new, small Jewish community of Neunkirchen was founded in 1970.

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

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.

Merzig

A town and the capital of the district Merzig-Wadern in Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 223 in 1846; Jewish population in 1933: 200

Merzig authorities closed this community’s prayer room, which was located in a private residence, in or around the year 1729, and it was not until 1780 that Jews were permitted to establish another. The town was home to a Jewish cemetery (consecrated before 1748 and enlarged in 1904 and again in 1910) and, after 1842, to a synagogue on the corner of Rehstrasse and Neustrasse. Merzig Jews maintained a Jewish school from 1823 until 1876, after which the community employed a teacher of religion, who also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet. In 1933, approximately 200 Jews still lived in Merzig. Seventeen children studied religion that year, and nine Jewish associations were active in the community, with which the Jews of Brotdorf and Hilbringen were affiliated. Most Jews left Merzig after the Saarland region was returned to the German Reich in March 1935. Accordingly, the community was disbanded in 1937. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the synagogue was set on fire, Jewish-owned homes and businesses were vandalized and the cemetery was largely destroyed. The synagogue building was subsequently repaired and used by the municipality until 1944, when the building was destroyed during an air raid. On October 22, 1940, at least seven Merzig Jews were deported to Gurs concentration camp in France. At least 44 local Jews perished during the Shoah. The cemetery, restored in 1949, houses a memorial plaque (unveiled there that same year). A plaque was also erected at the former synagogue site in 1961; and in 1976, one year after the street on which the synagogue once stood was renamed Synagogenstrasse (“synagogue street”), a new plaque was unveiled at the 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.

Saarbruecken
Saarbrücken
 
Capital and largest city of the state of Saarland, Germany.

Jews were probably present in the city in 1321 when Duke John I granted the city its charter and reserved jurisdiction over the Jews. It is certain, however, that there were Jews in the adjacent villages of St. Wendel, Sarrebourg, and Sarreguemines at the time. There are no further sources mentioning the presence of Jews until 1732 when a Judenordnung ("Jewry regulation") was issued for the Saarbrucken community by the count of Usingen-Nassau.
During the French occupation (1792--1813) equality was granted and a Saarbrucken arrondissement was established with a Jewish population of 71. The Saarbrucken community grew from 10 families in 1837 to 376 persons in 1885 and 1,103 in 1910. Between 1920 and 1935 the Saar region was administered by the League of Nations. The Saarbrucken community grew to 2,650, with another 1,700 Jews were dispersed in 23 rural communities. At the time of the 1935 plebiscite on the future of the region the Jews were accused of disloyalty and subjected to intensive harassment. Large numbers of Jews chose French and Belgian citizenship and many emigrated with special "Nansen" passports. The Saarbrucken synagogue was burned down on the Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938) and by the summer of 1939 only 177 Jews were left. The Jews of the Saar were deported, together with the Jews of Baden, to Gurs concentration camp in 1940.
After WW2 a new community was founded which grew from 60 in 1945-19466 to 224 in 1948 and 350 in January 1970. A new synagogue was built in 1951.

Saarlouis

A city in the Saarland, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1685; peak Jewish population: 480 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 364

The earliest record of a Jewish presence in Saarlouis is dated 1685. Although many of the town’s Jewish-owned business were attacked and severely damaged after the decision was made (in 1919) to place the Saarland region under the auspices of the League of Nations, Saarlouis’ Jewish community continued to grow and peaked in 1925. Jews conducted services in prayer rooms until 1828, when the community inaugurated a synagogue, with a mikveh and an elementary school, on Silberherzstrasse (Postgaesschen). The school was closed in 1875, after which the community employed a teacher/chazzan; another functionary served as shochet and as an aide to the chazzan. Saarlouis’ Jewish cemetery was consecrated in 1905, and we also know that the synagogue was renovated in 1878 and again in 1915. In 1933, 364 Jews lived in Saarlouis and the nearby villages; several Jewish associations and branches of nation-wide organizations were active in the community that year. Most Jews left Saarlouis after the Saarland was returned to Germany in March 1935. On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the five remaining Jewish owned businesses were destroyed and looted, as was the synagogue’s interior. Several Jews were assaulted that night. In September 1939, Saarlouis’ remaining 18 Jews were forced to leave the town: 15 emigrated from Germany; three were deported to the Gurs concentration camp in France on October 22, 1940. Saarlouis’ Jewish cemetery, severely damaged during the war, is now a memorial site. The synagogue building—it served as a carpenter’s shop at some point—was converted into a church in 1968. In 1986, three years after the structure was demolished, a new building was erected on the site; inside, a memorial room was built in honor of the destroyed Jewish community and its former synagogue.

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

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.

Gurs internment camp

The Gurs camp was an internment camp built in France at Gurs near Oloron-Sainte-Marie in the Basses-Pyrénées (currently Pyrénées-Atlantiques) department by the French government of Édouard Daladier between March 15 and April 25 1939 to intern people fleeing Spain after the victory of the Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War. 

Following the armistice of June 22, 1940 , signed with Germany by the French government of Pétain , the camp was used as a mixed internment camp to accommodate Jews of all nationalities - except French - captured and deported by the Nazi regime in countries under its control (Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands). Nearly 4,000 Jews were transferred from Gurs to the Drancy camp between August 6, 1942 and March 3, 1943. They were subsequently deported to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and almost all were murdered there.