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The Jewish Community of Guestrow

Güstrow 

A town and capital of the Rostock district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

First Jewish presence: late 1200s; peak Jewish population: 223 in 1860; Jewish population in 1933: 118

When Jews first settled in Guestrow in the late 1200s, they built a synagogue and consecrated a cemetery. The anti-Jewish host desecration trials, in which Jews were prosecuted for refusing to convert to Christianity, took place in Guestrow in 1330: 20 Jews were burned at the stake, their belongings were confiscated and the synagogue was converted into a church. It was not until 1819 that a considerable number of Jews were permitted to settle in Guestrow, after which the Jewish population grew quickly, reaching its peak of 223 in 1860. The community’s prayer rooms were unable to accommodate the growing congregation, and in 1829, two days before the Jewish New Year, a new synagogue was inaugurated in the town. Adjacent to the building were a community center and a school. In 1910, the Jewish population of Guestrow began to dwindle, so that it stood at 118 in 1933 (50 in 1937). On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), droves of local residents destroyed the synagogue. Wanting to ensure the complete destruction of the building, they not only doused the interior with fuel, but also sprayed the outside walls; the ensuing fire was so intense that the building burned for over 36 hours. The mob also burned down the Tahara hall in the cemetery and desecrated the headstones. In 1988, a memorial plaque 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.

Place Type:
Town
ID Number:
16920993
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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Rostock

A city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

First Jewish presence: 1279; peak Jewish population: 360 in 1933; Jewish population in 1933: 360

Rostock was founded by merchants in the middle of the 13th century; among them were many Jews. Around 1280, these Jews established a cemetery outside the city near Kroepelin Tor. They were expelled after the Black Death pogroms of 1348/49.
It was not until 1868 that Jews were allowed to resettle in Rostock. The first Jew settling down in the city was Gustav Israel, a cigar maker. Within a year, the Jewish population grew to 25 families. A modern Jewish community was founded in 1868 or 1870. For many decades, prayer services were held in private homes. We know that an inn on Lindenstrasse/Richard-Wagner-Strasse also served for communal gatherings. Thanks to the legacy of Meyer Gimpel, a wealthy Jew, the community was able to purchase a plot of land at 101 Augustenstrasse to erect a synagogue building. The new house of worship was planned and designed by architect Prof. Ludwig Levy. In September 1902, it was festively consecrated in the presence of Chief Rabbi Dr. Fabian Feilchenfeld (1827-1910). An 18-meter-high Star of David adorned the new synagogue, which had Romanesque arches and Gothic rosettes. The building provided seats to 350 people and was the largest and most representative synagogue in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The synagogue building included at least one classroom where a teacher provided religious instruction and Hebrew lessons to Jewish schoolchildren. In general, Jewish children attended public elementary schools. The community, consisting of Orthodox and Liberal members, observed the more conservative synagogue traditions.
After 1870, a Jewish cemetery was established on a plot of land that was part of Rostock's Christian local burial place (today: Am Lindenpark). The first Jewish burial took place in 1873. The cemetery was later extended and eventually purchased by the Jewish community. By 1942, more than 360 people had been buried there. Many grave stones (about 178) have been preserved; among others they commemorate the manufacturer Siegmund Bernhard (1846-1934) and his son Arnold (1886-1944), who was Rostock's last president of the Jewish community (1938-1941).
Many of Rostock's Jewish families came from small Mecklenburg towns and mainly earned their living in the textile business and scrap trading. However, they also succeeded in entering areas of professional life, working as medical doctors, lawyers and well-known scholars at Rostock's university. The number of the Jewish population grew from 118 Jews in 1871 to 221 in 1880.
Antisemitism strongly surfaced when the University of Rostock celebrated its 500th anniversary in 1919. Antisemitic speeches were given. Jewish students were expelled from the university and the contracts of all Jewish instructors were terminated. Nevertheless, by the turn of the century (1900), a count of the Rostock Jewish community revealed the highest number of members in Mecklenburg. The Jewish population number increased to 317 persons in 1910, including the Jews living in Warnemuende. In 1926, the seat of the regional rabbinate (Landesrabbinat) was moved from Schwerin to Rostock. Chief Rabbi Dr. Siegfried Silberstein (1866-1935) supervised all Jewish communities in Mecklenburg-Schwerin from 1911 until 1934. Chazzan (cantor) Bernhard Sawitz (1857-1930) had come from Lithuania in 1884 and served Rostock's community for more than 40 years.
In 1932/33, Rostock's Jewish population peaked at roughly 360 persons (0,4 percent of the total). Thirty-five Jewish schoolchildren received religious instruction. They were apparently instructed by Teacher Hes, who also served as the community's chazzan. Three welfare associations – a Jewish women's organization, established in 1876; a benefit society, founded in 1922; and the burial society chevra kadisha, initiated in 1902 – were still active providing aid to poor and needy people. Jews of Heinrichshagen (1 Jew), Schwaan (6), Suelze (5) and Warnemuende (8) were affiliated with the Rostock community in the 1930s.
Local residents ardently enforced anti-Jewish boycotts in Rostock. Already in December 1932, Jewish-owned shops and businesses were boycotted. A further anti-Jewish boycott action was executed on March 11, 1933, whereupon Jewish businessmen were forced to temporarily close their stores. The nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses was already implemented in Rostock on March 30, 1933. SA guards were stationed in front of Jewish-owned shops. Most of the affected 57 shops, medical practices and offices had to close. Owners and office workers were threatened and also physically attacked. In the following days, prominent local Jews were taken "into protective custody" and local Jewish university professors were dismissed.
Due to the boycott actions, several local Jews left the city; some emigrated to England, Holland and presumably to other countries; some moved to larger cities within Germany. However, at the same time, many Jews moved from the countryside to Rostock. Many of them found work in the biggest local Jewish enterprise, the Emsa Werke (Emsa Works), a factory for orthopedic shoes, whose owner was the chairperson of Rostock's Jewish community, Max Samuel. One of the workers was Irma Borchardt (8 Eschenstrasse). After 1933, she lost her job but found a new one at Emsa Works. In the following years she married. However, she, her husband and mother constantly lived on the poverty line. In July 1942, Irma, who was seven months pregnant at that time, and her family were deported to Auschwitz and gassed immediately after their arrival. The Emsa Works were forcibly given into non-Jewish hands and continued its production under the new name Voss Works. Numerous Jewish businesses were aryanized in Rostock from 1938. At the end of October 1938, approximately 40 Polish Jews were arrested in Rostock and deported to the Polish border, among them was Abraham Gluecksmann, the community's shamash (synagogue sexton). Only 175 Jews remained in Rostock by 1938.
In the early hours of November 10, 1938, the synagogue was looted. Holy books and ritual objects were thrown onto the street and set on fire, after which the building was totally burned down; the fire lasted for 24 hours. The fire brigade protected only the surrounding houses against the fire. SS and SA troops vandalized Jewish-owned homes and shops. About 60/70 Jewish men were arrested by SA members and policemen and taken to the police prison on Neuer Markt. Later, they were brought to the regional jail (Landeszuchthaus) in Altstrelitz. There they were subjected to forced labor in the swamps for several weeks. In 1944, the synagogue's ruins were hit by a war bomb; the Jewish community had to sell the site.
Until the outbreak of World War II in 1939, more Jews left Rostock; early September of that year, only some 70 Jews were living in the city. In July and November 1942, most of the remaining Jews were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Theresienstadt. We know very little about their fate. After the deportations of 1942, only 25 Jews remained in Rostock. Some were recruited for forced labor in France or within the German Reich. More than 120 local Jews perished in the Shoah. Only 14 Jewish inhabitants survived the Nazi era in Rostock. Two Jewish women returned from Theresienstadt to Rostock after the war.
Today, the former synagogue site accommodates an apartment building. Next to it, a memorial stele was erected in 1988. In 1994, a new Jewish community was founded by immigrants from the former Soviet Union. In 2004, that community celebrated the opening of a new synagogue. Six-hundred Jews lived in Rostock in 2005.

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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.

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.

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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.

Schwerin

A city and the capital Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1266; peak Jewish population: 391 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: 151

A small number of Jews were permitted to live in Schwerin in 1267. After centuries of pogroms, burnings at the stake and expulsions, Jews were permitted to return to Schwerin in 1679, albeit with restrictions: in addition to being forced to pay exorbitant taxes and protection money, they were limited to certain business activities. As a result, the Jewish population of that period never exceeded thirty. When these cumbersome restrictions were relaxed in the mid-1700s, more Jews moved to Schwerin. Although the community received permission to build a synagogue in 1773, it was not able to gather the necessary funds until 1819. Shortly after the inauguration of the synagogue, the anti-Jewish Hep-Hep riots erupted: angry crowds marched in front of the synagogue chanting “Kick out the Jews,” but Schwerin Jews, unlike their contemporaries in other towns and cities, were spared the brunt of the pogrom.

Beginning in 1933, when the Nazis instituted the anti- Jewish boycott, Jews started to leave Schwerin in large numbers. Later, on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the interior of the synagogue was ransacked, after which the contents were burned in one of the city’s squares. Forbidden to set the synagogue on fire because of its proximity to many homes, the Nazis forced the Jews to tear down the building themselves. By 1942, Schwerin’s remaining Jews had all been deported. Three years after the war, a group of Jews returned to Schwerin and founded a new Jewish community. By 1947, 100 Jews lived there. After buying two homes on the street on which the old synagogue once stood, the community converted one into a synagogue and the other into a community center. The Jewish population dwindled during the ensuing decades (three members in 1980), but an influx of Jewish arrivals from the former Soviet Union rejuvenated the defunct community.

In 2005, 1,000 Jews lived in Schwerin (more than double the peak pre-war population). In 1951, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site, and in 1984, planning commenced for a building that would house a miniature replica of the destroyed synagogue. (The project was funded by the Ford Foundation and the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.)

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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.

Waren

A town, climatic spa and seat of the Müritzin district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

Jews probably lived in Waren in the decades and centuries before the Jews were expelled from Mecklenburg at the end of the 15th century following accusations of alleged desecration of the host and poisoning of wells. 

In the 18th century, Jews were resettled, to whom the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin granted concessions and privileges for residential and commercial rights, for which the so-called "protective Jews" had to pay taxes. At the same time, the sovereign assured the cities, "... that they should have no cause to complain about their number, which is too large. Just as the Jews are hereby forbidden from taking peculiar reasons for themselves." (Quoted from Arne Benkendorf, goods, in: "Guide through the Jewish Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania", Berlin 1998, 295) So received, among others Wulff Salomon from Waren on June 3, 1755 a concession to trade haberdashery. Most of the Jews did not trade in shops at first, but rather as "flying trade" and moved across the country from goods with junk and haberdashery. A list obtained from 1760 shows that the Waren Jews had to pay different protection money to the rulers, there was both a certain prosperity and a social gap among the protected Jews. At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend of August 14, 1809: and moved across the country from goods with junk and haberdashery. A list obtained from 1760 shows that the Waren Jews had to pay different protection money to the rulers, there was both a certain prosperity and a social gap among the protected Jews. At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend of August 14, 1809: and set out from goods with junk and haberdashery across the country. A list from 1760 shows that the Waren Jews had to pay different protection money to the rulers, there was both a certain prosperity and a social gap among the protected Jews. At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend from August 14, 1809: At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend from August 14, 1809: At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend from August 14, 1809:
"You, the Protective Jew Elias Berend, are free to make use of your privilege, which has been rewritten to trade from the open shop today, in connection with your son-in-law or for yourself. But since this is only granted to you for life, it goes without saying that with your present demise such connection will cease and will not extend to your future heir. " (quoted from Arne Benkendorf, op. cit. p. 296)
"The liberalization that occurred as a result of the French Revolution made it possible for 26 Waren Jews to acquire citizenship and thus equality with their Christian fellow citizens for a short period of 4 years, which means that officially recognized family names prevail, including the Jews in the This "Constitution for the determination of an appropriate constitution for Jewish co-religionists in local countries" of February 22nd, 1813 was deleted on September 11th, 1817 without replacement by Grand Duke Friedrich Franz I, yielding to pressure from the knighthood and the cities.
Before the two Mecklenburg Grand Duchies joined the North German Confederation in 1867 and were fully emancipated in this confederation in 1869, Jews were only allowed to acquire citizenship in the years 1848/49. With these exceptions in the years 1813-1817 and 1848/49, the Jews still had to apply for special privileges. Like all other privileged craft offices or individuals, they had to have all granted or purchased rights reaffirmed by the government of the new Grand Duke against payment of a not small sum at every change of government. "(Op. Cit., P. 298)
The increase in numbers of the Jewish community and increasing prosperity made it possible in 1796 to build a synagogue in the courtyard of the house acquired by Elias Behrend in what was then Langen Strasse 113, and very close by to build a ritual bath, the mikveh.
"It is not known whether the building of the synagogue, as in other cities, was supported by the sovereign. The synagogue building was similar to that of the Röbeler. It was a hall building with a hipped roof on all sides, which leaned against the old city wall in the north Inside there was a gallery and on the east side a niche for the Torah shrine.According to the family of the carpenter Zelms, who came into possession of the house in 1936, to the left of this niche was a painted representation of plants and those nourishing them Bees. The ceiling was decorated with stars. " (loc. cit. p. 304)
The son of the master carpenter, Kurt Zelm, was often in his father's workshop as a child and, as an architect, of course has the necessary appreciation of old buildings, describes the synagogue in his memory as follows and should be quoted additionally:
but the bees flew away, weighted with honey. In the middle of the sacred space there was a raised platform with a balustrade, from where the prayer was held ... "(quoted from Jürgen Borchert, Des Zettelkasten andrer Teil, Rostock 1988, p. 95)
The Waren cemetery was built around 1800. A sovereign ordinance on the attitude of a religious school by the Israelite community to Waren was dated April 1843. Classes were held in classrooms made available by the magistrate. Since the equality of Jews after 1869 and the founding of the Reich in 1871, the number of community members in Waren has also decreased. In 1850 the Jewish community still had 155 members, in 1875 there were 99, in 1900 only 89 and in 1925 only 35 people. The Jews were given the right to freely choose their profession and place of residence or settlement. They became more and more integrated into the economic and social life of society. The big cities with their modern economies offered them more opportunities so that they could break out of the narrow confines of small-town Jewish communities. At the same time, the contrast between liberal reform Jews and conservative Orthodox Jews increased. The liberal Jews assimilated themselves, took up new professions such as teachers, lawyers, doctors, were baptized, married Christian spouses, broke away from Jewish traditions, got involved in cultural associations, Jewish children attended city schools up to and including high school, Christian and Jewish residents looked after normal everyday interaction with one another. In 1871, Dr. Jacobi Selig Rosenthal granted honorary citizenship to a Jew. The Warener Zeitung of November 18, 1871 finishes its article in which it details the award of honorary citizenship and the career of Dr. Rosenthal describes
"We wish the worthy jubilee that he may have many more cheerful days to the delight of his dear relatives and numerous admirers." (Quoted from Arne Benkendorf loc. Cit. P. 306) In July 1877, Dr. Rosenthal in goods. In 1990 a street leading to the Jewish cemetery was named after him. The Jewish brothers Karl and Otto Loewenberg also took part in the First World War. They fell in 1915 and 1918 and are named on the memorial plaque for those who fell in this war in the George Church.
With the National Socialist rule, repression and persecution began. The Jewish community was forced to remove the synagogue because it was in a state of disrepair. More and more Jews fled from the anti-Semitic harassment and riots. In 1935 there were 29 Jews living in Waren, in 1937 only 24 and in April 1938 the number had dropped to 9. These moved to the larger cities, where they hoped to be more secure in anonymity or from where they tried to flee abroad. Only a few of them managed to do this, mention should be made of Alfred Leopold's spectacular escape, which took six years before he was safe in Switzerland. Others like the married couple Loewenberg vom Neuen Markt with their two children Karl Otto and Ruth no longer succeeded in following their daughter Gerda from Hamburg to the USA. They were deported to Minsk and are missing there. Erich and Toni Jacob from Lloydstr. 4 were deported from Berlin to Auschwitz with their sons Alfred and Günther, only Günther survived. The Leopold family from Neuen Markt 13 was also deported from Berlin to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.
The Jewish cemetery was destroyed in the the Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), a memorial stone was placed in 1967 and a memorial plaque was placed at the entrance in 1985. The synagogue building was spared during the riots, as the Jewish community had given it up in 1936 and - as already mentioned - sold it to a carpenter as a workshop. It was finally demolished in 1954, the photos of the demolition are the last documents in the history of the house. In 1991 a memorial stone was erected.
"A few steps away from the synagogue, outside the city wall, directly on Lake Tiefwarensee, at Grosse Mauerplatz 3, was the Jewish bathhouse. Like the whole district, it has disappeared without a trace. People's life has taken place here for several centuries. Christians and Jews lived close together.

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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.

Krakow am See

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

It is not known when Jews began settling in Krakow am See. The first accusation Host desecration in Mecklenburg took place in 1325 in Krakow am See. Jewish residents were accused of breaking into the town church and stealing and desecrating the hosts consecrated there. The defendants were tortured to testify and then wheeled to death on a hill near the city. This hill bears the name Jörnberg, a variant of Judenberg. The death of the Jews made it possible for the prince to get rid of his creditors and to enrich himself with their wealth. From then on the Jews avoided Krakow am See and after all Jews were expelled from Mecklenburg as a result of the murder of the Jews in Sternberg in 1492, no Jews lived in Krakow am See for several centuries.

It was not until the 18th century that Jews were given the right to stay in Krakow am See again. Around 1730 Jewish peddlers were trading in Krakow am See markets and in 1756 David Hirsch, Arnud Moses and Moses Jochim were the first protected Jews to settle in Krakow am See and allowed to trade. They were also among the founders of the Jewish community. The community's prime was between the middle of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. In 1865 it had the largest number of members with 110 people. The textile trade in Krakow am See was mainly operated by the Jewish families Nathan, Bragenheim, Wolffson and Salomon, and Jewish inhabitants were also active in the fur trade as well as in the timber industry.

In 1819 there were 56 Jews in 17 families in Krakow am See. To ensure the burial of the dead, a place was acquired on Plauener Chaussee in 1821. The first burial took place in 1829. Among the 61 remaining gravestones are the graves of the well-known local poet Joseph Nathan (1869-1927) and of Rabbi Bernhard Rasbern (1869-1891). The last tombstones were date from 1927/1930/1937. Located in the immediate vicinity of the Protestant cemetery and thanks to the courageous intervention of Krakow am See's citizens, the Jewish cemetery survived the Pogrom Night of 1938 unscathed. Today it is looked after by a school class. A wooden stele at the entrance indicates its earlier purpose.

Almuth Wagner writes about religious community life and the construction of the synagogue in the classicistic arched style in her essay on Krakow am See on the Lake: "On June 19, 1845, Friedrich Franz, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, confirmed the municipal code for the Jews of Krakow am See. The Jewish community was a religious institution that represented political and social interests at the same time. Three people formed the board of the community. The most important task was to maintain, uphold and practice religion. The tradition-loyal Krakow am See Jews (called "Old Pious") strictly adhered to the halacha which details the purpose and conduct of life of the Jews. With the construction of the synagogue the community created its center. This is where the community gathered, worshiped, and studied the religious scriptures. Together with the cemetery it formed the center of community life. With this the prerequisites for a Jewish community were developed in Krakow am See.

The community had bought the property from the city's magistrate. The construction of the simple synagogue made of yellow bricks with a prayer hall, women's gallery and side rooms was financed almost entirely by the community members. Only a grace grant of 200 RM was approved by the Grand Ducal Mecklenburg pension office for the construction. The newly built synagogue at 7 Plauer Strasse (today Schulplatz 1) was inaugurated on December 12, 1866, in the presence of the regional rabbi Dr. Cohn and 110 community members. The community regulated all official acts in and outside the synagogue, organized the religious and funeral service, committed religious officials (teachers, prayer leaders, slaughterers), maintained contact with the state rabbi and the senior councilor, took care of the poor and regulated finance and taxation. 

On the occasion of the Hanukkah festival which commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C., the 110 community members took over the new building. The ritual immersion bath, the mikveh, also belonged to the synagogue.

At the end of the 19th century, as in many other Mecklenburg communities, many Jews of Krakow am See left the village because of economic, social and political reasons. The decreasing number of members worsened the financial situation of the Jewish community. In 1912 there were still 10 paying members. The synagogue was only used on the main holidays. Due to financial difficulties it was decided in 1919 to sell the synagogue. In 1920 it was sold to the municipality amd turned into a gymnasium and thus survived the Nazi persecutions largely unscathed. In 1928 the last young family (Bragenheim) moved from Krakow am See to Rostock. With this the community activities ceased and with the death of the last headmaster Benno Nathan the Jewish community was dissolved in 1930. The former synagogue survived the Pogrom Night in 1938 unharmed. It has served its purpose as a gym up to the present day.

In 1985 the building of the former synagogue was converted into a library, a city council hall and a home office and served to preserve the memory of the Jewish community in Krakow am See. After 1989 a new usage concept was developed in cooperation with the "Foundation for Meeting Place for Jewish History and Culture" in Rostock. In 1992 the restoration work began. On the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the Old Synagogue, the house was opened to the public on May 18, 1996. Since its opening the former synagogue has been the seat of Krakow am See Information office and has developed into a spiritual and cultural center of the city of Krakow am See. The cultural association "Old Synagogue Krakow am See at the Lake" also uses it as an exhibition and event center. A permanent exhibition about the life of Jewish citizens in Mecklenburg reminds of the original purpose of the building and the destroyed Jewish community in Krakow am See.

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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.

Neukalen

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

The Jewish community had its prime in the first half of the 19th century, but then decreased in number due to emigration to such an extent that it was dissolved in 1900 at its own will. The synagogue, inaugurated in 1843, was sold in 1899 to the innkeeper Köhler, who had it demolished because it was in a bad condition. The community did not have a Jewish school, but had a mikveh and its own Jewish cemetery in the "Judentannen" of which remains are preserved. After 1900 only three Jewish families lived in Neukalen: the Bragenheim, Löwi and Salender families, in 1935 only the two unmarried sisters Amalie and Bertha Salender. Bertha Salender died in 1937 at the age of 92, Amalie Salender is said to have hanged herself on March 19, 1938 because she could no longer bear the loneliness and abuse.

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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 Guestrow

Güstrow 

A town and capital of the Rostock district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

First Jewish presence: late 1200s; peak Jewish population: 223 in 1860; Jewish population in 1933: 118

When Jews first settled in Guestrow in the late 1200s, they built a synagogue and consecrated a cemetery. The anti-Jewish host desecration trials, in which Jews were prosecuted for refusing to convert to Christianity, took place in Guestrow in 1330: 20 Jews were burned at the stake, their belongings were confiscated and the synagogue was converted into a church. It was not until 1819 that a considerable number of Jews were permitted to settle in Guestrow, after which the Jewish population grew quickly, reaching its peak of 223 in 1860. The community’s prayer rooms were unable to accommodate the growing congregation, and in 1829, two days before the Jewish New Year, a new synagogue was inaugurated in the town. Adjacent to the building were a community center and a school. In 1910, the Jewish population of Guestrow began to dwindle, so that it stood at 118 in 1933 (50 in 1937). On Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), droves of local residents destroyed the synagogue. Wanting to ensure the complete destruction of the building, they not only doused the interior with fuel, but also sprayed the outside walls; the ensuing fire was so intense that the building burned for over 36 hours. The mob also burned down the Tahara hall in the cemetery and desecrated the headstones. In 1988, a memorial plaque 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.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Neukalen
Krakow am See
Waren
Schwerin
Teterow
Rostock

Neukalen

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

The Jewish community had its prime in the first half of the 19th century, but then decreased in number due to emigration to such an extent that it was dissolved in 1900 at its own will. The synagogue, inaugurated in 1843, was sold in 1899 to the innkeeper Köhler, who had it demolished because it was in a bad condition. The community did not have a Jewish school, but had a mikveh and its own Jewish cemetery in the "Judentannen" of which remains are preserved. After 1900 only three Jewish families lived in Neukalen: the Bragenheim, Löwi and Salender families, in 1935 only the two unmarried sisters Amalie and Bertha Salender. Bertha Salender died in 1937 at the age of 92, Amalie Salender is said to have hanged herself on March 19, 1938 because she could no longer bear the loneliness and abuse.

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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. 

Krakow am See

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

It is not known when Jews began settling in Krakow am See. The first accusation Host desecration in Mecklenburg took place in 1325 in Krakow am See. Jewish residents were accused of breaking into the town church and stealing and desecrating the hosts consecrated there. The defendants were tortured to testify and then wheeled to death on a hill near the city. This hill bears the name Jörnberg, a variant of Judenberg. The death of the Jews made it possible for the prince to get rid of his creditors and to enrich himself with their wealth. From then on the Jews avoided Krakow am See and after all Jews were expelled from Mecklenburg as a result of the murder of the Jews in Sternberg in 1492, no Jews lived in Krakow am See for several centuries.

It was not until the 18th century that Jews were given the right to stay in Krakow am See again. Around 1730 Jewish peddlers were trading in Krakow am See markets and in 1756 David Hirsch, Arnud Moses and Moses Jochim were the first protected Jews to settle in Krakow am See and allowed to trade. They were also among the founders of the Jewish community. The community's prime was between the middle of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. In 1865 it had the largest number of members with 110 people. The textile trade in Krakow am See was mainly operated by the Jewish families Nathan, Bragenheim, Wolffson and Salomon, and Jewish inhabitants were also active in the fur trade as well as in the timber industry.

In 1819 there were 56 Jews in 17 families in Krakow am See. To ensure the burial of the dead, a place was acquired on Plauener Chaussee in 1821. The first burial took place in 1829. Among the 61 remaining gravestones are the graves of the well-known local poet Joseph Nathan (1869-1927) and of Rabbi Bernhard Rasbern (1869-1891). The last tombstones were date from 1927/1930/1937. Located in the immediate vicinity of the Protestant cemetery and thanks to the courageous intervention of Krakow am See's citizens, the Jewish cemetery survived the Pogrom Night of 1938 unscathed. Today it is looked after by a school class. A wooden stele at the entrance indicates its earlier purpose.

Almuth Wagner writes about religious community life and the construction of the synagogue in the classicistic arched style in her essay on Krakow am See on the Lake: "On June 19, 1845, Friedrich Franz, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, confirmed the municipal code for the Jews of Krakow am See. The Jewish community was a religious institution that represented political and social interests at the same time. Three people formed the board of the community. The most important task was to maintain, uphold and practice religion. The tradition-loyal Krakow am See Jews (called "Old Pious") strictly adhered to the halacha which details the purpose and conduct of life of the Jews. With the construction of the synagogue the community created its center. This is where the community gathered, worshiped, and studied the religious scriptures. Together with the cemetery it formed the center of community life. With this the prerequisites for a Jewish community were developed in Krakow am See.

The community had bought the property from the city's magistrate. The construction of the simple synagogue made of yellow bricks with a prayer hall, women's gallery and side rooms was financed almost entirely by the community members. Only a grace grant of 200 RM was approved by the Grand Ducal Mecklenburg pension office for the construction. The newly built synagogue at 7 Plauer Strasse (today Schulplatz 1) was inaugurated on December 12, 1866, in the presence of the regional rabbi Dr. Cohn and 110 community members. The community regulated all official acts in and outside the synagogue, organized the religious and funeral service, committed religious officials (teachers, prayer leaders, slaughterers), maintained contact with the state rabbi and the senior councilor, took care of the poor and regulated finance and taxation. 

On the occasion of the Hanukkah festival which commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C., the 110 community members took over the new building. The ritual immersion bath, the mikveh, also belonged to the synagogue.

At the end of the 19th century, as in many other Mecklenburg communities, many Jews of Krakow am See left the village because of economic, social and political reasons. The decreasing number of members worsened the financial situation of the Jewish community. In 1912 there were still 10 paying members. The synagogue was only used on the main holidays. Due to financial difficulties it was decided in 1919 to sell the synagogue. In 1920 it was sold to the municipality amd turned into a gymnasium and thus survived the Nazi persecutions largely unscathed. In 1928 the last young family (Bragenheim) moved from Krakow am See to Rostock. With this the community activities ceased and with the death of the last headmaster Benno Nathan the Jewish community was dissolved in 1930. The former synagogue survived the Pogrom Night in 1938 unharmed. It has served its purpose as a gym up to the present day.

In 1985 the building of the former synagogue was converted into a library, a city council hall and a home office and served to preserve the memory of the Jewish community in Krakow am See. After 1989 a new usage concept was developed in cooperation with the "Foundation for Meeting Place for Jewish History and Culture" in Rostock. In 1992 the restoration work began. On the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the Old Synagogue, the house was opened to the public on May 18, 1996. Since its opening the former synagogue has been the seat of Krakow am See Information office and has developed into a spiritual and cultural center of the city of Krakow am See. The cultural association "Old Synagogue Krakow am See at the Lake" also uses it as an exhibition and event center. A permanent exhibition about the life of Jewish citizens in Mecklenburg reminds of the original purpose of the building and the destroyed Jewish community in Krakow am See.

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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.

Waren

A town, climatic spa and seat of the Müritzin district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

Jews probably lived in Waren in the decades and centuries before the Jews were expelled from Mecklenburg at the end of the 15th century following accusations of alleged desecration of the host and poisoning of wells. 

In the 18th century, Jews were resettled, to whom the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin granted concessions and privileges for residential and commercial rights, for which the so-called "protective Jews" had to pay taxes. At the same time, the sovereign assured the cities, "... that they should have no cause to complain about their number, which is too large. Just as the Jews are hereby forbidden from taking peculiar reasons for themselves." (Quoted from Arne Benkendorf, goods, in: "Guide through the Jewish Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania", Berlin 1998, 295) So received, among others Wulff Salomon from Waren on June 3, 1755 a concession to trade haberdashery. Most of the Jews did not trade in shops at first, but rather as "flying trade" and moved across the country from goods with junk and haberdashery. A list obtained from 1760 shows that the Waren Jews had to pay different protection money to the rulers, there was both a certain prosperity and a social gap among the protected Jews. At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend of August 14, 1809: and moved across the country from goods with junk and haberdashery. A list obtained from 1760 shows that the Waren Jews had to pay different protection money to the rulers, there was both a certain prosperity and a social gap among the protected Jews. At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend of August 14, 1809: and set out from goods with junk and haberdashery across the country. A list from 1760 shows that the Waren Jews had to pay different protection money to the rulers, there was both a certain prosperity and a social gap among the protected Jews. At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend from August 14, 1809: At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend from August 14, 1809: At the same time, restrictions and deadlines for the privileges were specified in the letters of protection. For example, in the letter of protection for Elias Berend from August 14, 1809:
"You, the Protective Jew Elias Berend, are free to make use of your privilege, which has been rewritten to trade from the open shop today, in connection with your son-in-law or for yourself. But since this is only granted to you for life, it goes without saying that with your present demise such connection will cease and will not extend to your future heir. " (quoted from Arne Benkendorf, op. cit. p. 296)
"The liberalization that occurred as a result of the French Revolution made it possible for 26 Waren Jews to acquire citizenship and thus equality with their Christian fellow citizens for a short period of 4 years, which means that officially recognized family names prevail, including the Jews in the This "Constitution for the determination of an appropriate constitution for Jewish co-religionists in local countries" of February 22nd, 1813 was deleted on September 11th, 1817 without replacement by Grand Duke Friedrich Franz I, yielding to pressure from the knighthood and the cities.
Before the two Mecklenburg Grand Duchies joined the North German Confederation in 1867 and were fully emancipated in this confederation in 1869, Jews were only allowed to acquire citizenship in the years 1848/49. With these exceptions in the years 1813-1817 and 1848/49, the Jews still had to apply for special privileges. Like all other privileged craft offices or individuals, they had to have all granted or purchased rights reaffirmed by the government of the new Grand Duke against payment of a not small sum at every change of government. "(Op. Cit., P. 298)
The increase in numbers of the Jewish community and increasing prosperity made it possible in 1796 to build a synagogue in the courtyard of the house acquired by Elias Behrend in what was then Langen Strasse 113, and very close by to build a ritual bath, the mikveh.
"It is not known whether the building of the synagogue, as in other cities, was supported by the sovereign. The synagogue building was similar to that of the Röbeler. It was a hall building with a hipped roof on all sides, which leaned against the old city wall in the north Inside there was a gallery and on the east side a niche for the Torah shrine.According to the family of the carpenter Zelms, who came into possession of the house in 1936, to the left of this niche was a painted representation of plants and those nourishing them Bees. The ceiling was decorated with stars. " (loc. cit. p. 304)
The son of the master carpenter, Kurt Zelm, was often in his father's workshop as a child and, as an architect, of course has the necessary appreciation of old buildings, describes the synagogue in his memory as follows and should be quoted additionally:
but the bees flew away, weighted with honey. In the middle of the sacred space there was a raised platform with a balustrade, from where the prayer was held ... "(quoted from Jürgen Borchert, Des Zettelkasten andrer Teil, Rostock 1988, p. 95)
The Waren cemetery was built around 1800. A sovereign ordinance on the attitude of a religious school by the Israelite community to Waren was dated April 1843. Classes were held in classrooms made available by the magistrate. Since the equality of Jews after 1869 and the founding of the Reich in 1871, the number of community members in Waren has also decreased. In 1850 the Jewish community still had 155 members, in 1875 there were 99, in 1900 only 89 and in 1925 only 35 people. The Jews were given the right to freely choose their profession and place of residence or settlement. They became more and more integrated into the economic and social life of society. The big cities with their modern economies offered them more opportunities so that they could break out of the narrow confines of small-town Jewish communities. At the same time, the contrast between liberal reform Jews and conservative Orthodox Jews increased. The liberal Jews assimilated themselves, took up new professions such as teachers, lawyers, doctors, were baptized, married Christian spouses, broke away from Jewish traditions, got involved in cultural associations, Jewish children attended city schools up to and including high school, Christian and Jewish residents looked after normal everyday interaction with one another. In 1871, Dr. Jacobi Selig Rosenthal granted honorary citizenship to a Jew. The Warener Zeitung of November 18, 1871 finishes its article in which it details the award of honorary citizenship and the career of Dr. Rosenthal describes
"We wish the worthy jubilee that he may have many more cheerful days to the delight of his dear relatives and numerous admirers." (Quoted from Arne Benkendorf loc. Cit. P. 306) In July 1877, Dr. Rosenthal in goods. In 1990 a street leading to the Jewish cemetery was named after him. The Jewish brothers Karl and Otto Loewenberg also took part in the First World War. They fell in 1915 and 1918 and are named on the memorial plaque for those who fell in this war in the George Church.
With the National Socialist rule, repression and persecution began. The Jewish community was forced to remove the synagogue because it was in a state of disrepair. More and more Jews fled from the anti-Semitic harassment and riots. In 1935 there were 29 Jews living in Waren, in 1937 only 24 and in April 1938 the number had dropped to 9. These moved to the larger cities, where they hoped to be more secure in anonymity or from where they tried to flee abroad. Only a few of them managed to do this, mention should be made of Alfred Leopold's spectacular escape, which took six years before he was safe in Switzerland. Others like the married couple Loewenberg vom Neuen Markt with their two children Karl Otto and Ruth no longer succeeded in following their daughter Gerda from Hamburg to the USA. They were deported to Minsk and are missing there. Erich and Toni Jacob from Lloydstr. 4 were deported from Berlin to Auschwitz with their sons Alfred and Günther, only Günther survived. The Leopold family from Neuen Markt 13 was also deported from Berlin to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.
The Jewish cemetery was destroyed in the the Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), a memorial stone was placed in 1967 and a memorial plaque was placed at the entrance in 1985. The synagogue building was spared during the riots, as the Jewish community had given it up in 1936 and - as already mentioned - sold it to a carpenter as a workshop. It was finally demolished in 1954, the photos of the demolition are the last documents in the history of the house. In 1991 a memorial stone was erected.
"A few steps away from the synagogue, outside the city wall, directly on Lake Tiefwarensee, at Grosse Mauerplatz 3, was the Jewish bathhouse. Like the whole district, it has disappeared without a trace. People's life has taken place here for several centuries. Christians and Jews lived close together.

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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.

Schwerin

A city and the capital Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1266; peak Jewish population: 391 in 1875; Jewish population in 1933: 151

A small number of Jews were permitted to live in Schwerin in 1267. After centuries of pogroms, burnings at the stake and expulsions, Jews were permitted to return to Schwerin in 1679, albeit with restrictions: in addition to being forced to pay exorbitant taxes and protection money, they were limited to certain business activities. As a result, the Jewish population of that period never exceeded thirty. When these cumbersome restrictions were relaxed in the mid-1700s, more Jews moved to Schwerin. Although the community received permission to build a synagogue in 1773, it was not able to gather the necessary funds until 1819. Shortly after the inauguration of the synagogue, the anti-Jewish Hep-Hep riots erupted: angry crowds marched in front of the synagogue chanting “Kick out the Jews,” but Schwerin Jews, unlike their contemporaries in other towns and cities, were spared the brunt of the pogrom.

Beginning in 1933, when the Nazis instituted the anti- Jewish boycott, Jews started to leave Schwerin in large numbers. Later, on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), the interior of the synagogue was ransacked, after which the contents were burned in one of the city’s squares. Forbidden to set the synagogue on fire because of its proximity to many homes, the Nazis forced the Jews to tear down the building themselves. By 1942, Schwerin’s remaining Jews had all been deported. Three years after the war, a group of Jews returned to Schwerin and founded a new Jewish community. By 1947, 100 Jews lived there. After buying two homes on the street on which the old synagogue once stood, the community converted one into a synagogue and the other into a community center. The Jewish population dwindled during the ensuing decades (three members in 1980), but an influx of Jewish arrivals from the former Soviet Union rejuvenated the defunct community.

In 2005, 1,000 Jews lived in Schwerin (more than double the peak pre-war population). In 1951, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site, and in 1984, planning commenced for a building that would house a miniature replica of the destroyed synagogue. (The project was funded by the Ford Foundation and the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.)

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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.

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.

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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.

Rostock

A city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

First Jewish presence: 1279; peak Jewish population: 360 in 1933; Jewish population in 1933: 360

Rostock was founded by merchants in the middle of the 13th century; among them were many Jews. Around 1280, these Jews established a cemetery outside the city near Kroepelin Tor. They were expelled after the Black Death pogroms of 1348/49.
It was not until 1868 that Jews were allowed to resettle in Rostock. The first Jew settling down in the city was Gustav Israel, a cigar maker. Within a year, the Jewish population grew to 25 families. A modern Jewish community was founded in 1868 or 1870. For many decades, prayer services were held in private homes. We know that an inn on Lindenstrasse/Richard-Wagner-Strasse also served for communal gatherings. Thanks to the legacy of Meyer Gimpel, a wealthy Jew, the community was able to purchase a plot of land at 101 Augustenstrasse to erect a synagogue building. The new house of worship was planned and designed by architect Prof. Ludwig Levy. In September 1902, it was festively consecrated in the presence of Chief Rabbi Dr. Fabian Feilchenfeld (1827-1910). An 18-meter-high Star of David adorned the new synagogue, which had Romanesque arches and Gothic rosettes. The building provided seats to 350 people and was the largest and most representative synagogue in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The synagogue building included at least one classroom where a teacher provided religious instruction and Hebrew lessons to Jewish schoolchildren. In general, Jewish children attended public elementary schools. The community, consisting of Orthodox and Liberal members, observed the more conservative synagogue traditions.
After 1870, a Jewish cemetery was established on a plot of land that was part of Rostock's Christian local burial place (today: Am Lindenpark). The first Jewish burial took place in 1873. The cemetery was later extended and eventually purchased by the Jewish community. By 1942, more than 360 people had been buried there. Many grave stones (about 178) have been preserved; among others they commemorate the manufacturer Siegmund Bernhard (1846-1934) and his son Arnold (1886-1944), who was Rostock's last president of the Jewish community (1938-1941).
Many of Rostock's Jewish families came from small Mecklenburg towns and mainly earned their living in the textile business and scrap trading. However, they also succeeded in entering areas of professional life, working as medical doctors, lawyers and well-known scholars at Rostock's university. The number of the Jewish population grew from 118 Jews in 1871 to 221 in 1880.
Antisemitism strongly surfaced when the University of Rostock celebrated its 500th anniversary in 1919. Antisemitic speeches were given. Jewish students were expelled from the university and the contracts of all Jewish instructors were terminated. Nevertheless, by the turn of the century (1900), a count of the Rostock Jewish community revealed the highest number of members in Mecklenburg. The Jewish population number increased to 317 persons in 1910, including the Jews living in Warnemuende. In 1926, the seat of the regional rabbinate (Landesrabbinat) was moved from Schwerin to Rostock. Chief Rabbi Dr. Siegfried Silberstein (1866-1935) supervised all Jewish communities in Mecklenburg-Schwerin from 1911 until 1934. Chazzan (cantor) Bernhard Sawitz (1857-1930) had come from Lithuania in 1884 and served Rostock's community for more than 40 years.
In 1932/33, Rostock's Jewish population peaked at roughly 360 persons (0,4 percent of the total). Thirty-five Jewish schoolchildren received religious instruction. They were apparently instructed by Teacher Hes, who also served as the community's chazzan. Three welfare associations – a Jewish women's organization, established in 1876; a benefit society, founded in 1922; and the burial society chevra kadisha, initiated in 1902 – were still active providing aid to poor and needy people. Jews of Heinrichshagen (1 Jew), Schwaan (6), Suelze (5) and Warnemuende (8) were affiliated with the Rostock community in the 1930s.
Local residents ardently enforced anti-Jewish boycotts in Rostock. Already in December 1932, Jewish-owned shops and businesses were boycotted. A further anti-Jewish boycott action was executed on March 11, 1933, whereupon Jewish businessmen were forced to temporarily close their stores. The nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses was already implemented in Rostock on March 30, 1933. SA guards were stationed in front of Jewish-owned shops. Most of the affected 57 shops, medical practices and offices had to close. Owners and office workers were threatened and also physically attacked. In the following days, prominent local Jews were taken "into protective custody" and local Jewish university professors were dismissed.
Due to the boycott actions, several local Jews left the city; some emigrated to England, Holland and presumably to other countries; some moved to larger cities within Germany. However, at the same time, many Jews moved from the countryside to Rostock. Many of them found work in the biggest local Jewish enterprise, the Emsa Werke (Emsa Works), a factory for orthopedic shoes, whose owner was the chairperson of Rostock's Jewish community, Max Samuel. One of the workers was Irma Borchardt (8 Eschenstrasse). After 1933, she lost her job but found a new one at Emsa Works. In the following years she married. However, she, her husband and mother constantly lived on the poverty line. In July 1942, Irma, who was seven months pregnant at that time, and her family were deported to Auschwitz and gassed immediately after their arrival. The Emsa Works were forcibly given into non-Jewish hands and continued its production under the new name Voss Works. Numerous Jewish businesses were aryanized in Rostock from 1938. At the end of October 1938, approximately 40 Polish Jews were arrested in Rostock and deported to the Polish border, among them was Abraham Gluecksmann, the community's shamash (synagogue sexton). Only 175 Jews remained in Rostock by 1938.
In the early hours of November 10, 1938, the synagogue was looted. Holy books and ritual objects were thrown onto the street and set on fire, after which the building was totally burned down; the fire lasted for 24 hours. The fire brigade protected only the surrounding houses against the fire. SS and SA troops vandalized Jewish-owned homes and shops. About 60/70 Jewish men were arrested by SA members and policemen and taken to the police prison on Neuer Markt. Later, they were brought to the regional jail (Landeszuchthaus) in Altstrelitz. There they were subjected to forced labor in the swamps for several weeks. In 1944, the synagogue's ruins were hit by a war bomb; the Jewish community had to sell the site.
Until the outbreak of World War II in 1939, more Jews left Rostock; early September of that year, only some 70 Jews were living in the city. In July and November 1942, most of the remaining Jews were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Theresienstadt. We know very little about their fate. After the deportations of 1942, only 25 Jews remained in Rostock. Some were recruited for forced labor in France or within the German Reich. More than 120 local Jews perished in the Shoah. Only 14 Jewish inhabitants survived the Nazi era in Rostock. Two Jewish women returned from Theresienstadt to Rostock after the war.
Today, the former synagogue site accommodates an apartment building. Next to it, a memorial stele was erected in 1988. In 1994, a new Jewish community was founded by immigrants from the former Soviet Union. In 2004, that community celebrated the opening of a new synagogue. Six-hundred Jews lived in Rostock in 2005.

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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.