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The Jewish Community of Ahlem

Ahlem

A village near Hanover, Germany.

Ahlem is known for its Jewish horticultural school, the first of its type in Germany. Ahlem was founded in 1893 by the Jewish philanthropist Moritz Alexander Simon and was open to all suitable Jewish applicants, regardless of ideological affiliation. It trained hundreds of Jewish youths as agriculturalists and skilled workers. The three-year curriculum included agricultural subjects, especially horticulture, in addition to general subjects taught in secondary schools. On its foundation boys from the age of 14 were admitted; from 1903 to the 1920s girls over 16 were accepted for vocational training and home economics, and subsequently horticulture. A boarding school and elementary school for children between the ages of eight and 13 were added. In 1933 the number of pupils totaled approximately 50, but increased to 120 between 1936 and 1938. The school was authorized by the Nazis as a center for vocational training for Jewish youth intending to emigrate, and was permitted to issue
graduation certificates. Between 1933 and 1939 about 300 pupils graduated from Ahlem, and some of them emigrated to the Land of Israel.

Place Type:
Village
ID Number:
246832
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Nearby places:

Related items:
Ahlem agricultural jewish school.
Near Hanover, c1935.
(Bernard Moch, by Dr. Lowe)
Jewish students working in the greenhouse
of the agricultural school in Ahlem,
near Hannover, Germany, 1920s
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot)
Jewish students orking in the Jewish agricultural school,
Ahlem near Hannover, Germany, 1900's
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot)
Jewish students in front of the agricultural school
in Ahlem near Hannover, Germany, 1935
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot)
Jewish students in the greenhouse o
f the agricultural school in Ahlem
near Hannover, Germany, 1920s
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot)

German: Hannover

 

A city in Germany. Hanover is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony.

 

21ST CENTURY

Hanover is home to three synagogues, two Reform, Synagogue Etz Chaim and Liberale Judische Gemeinde; and one traditional, Hanover Synagogue. The European Center for Jewish Music is also located in Hanover.

The Jewish community has approximately 3,000 members and has continued to grow through the 21st century.

 

HISTORY

Sources dating from 1292 note the presence of Jews in Hanover's old city (Altstadt). Because this period was one in which the city expanded significantly, Jewish moneylenders were welcomed and promised protection by the city council; indeed, a municipal law from 1303 prohibited anyone from mistreating the city’s Jews "by word or deed.” By 1340 the Jewish community was also granted permission to practice kosher butchery.

Nonetheless, during the period of anti-Jewish violence that broke out against Jews throughout Europe in the wake of the Black Death (1348-1349), the Jews were expelled from the city. Between 1369 and 1371 only one Jew lived in Hanover until he, too, was expelled by the council. It was only in 1375 that the dukes who were in charge of the city granted the city the ability to readmit Jews and levy taxes on them. By 1540 there were three Jewish families living in the old city, and five in the new. The growing community also maintained a synagogue and a rabbi.

Although the Jews were permitted to resettle in Hanover, they were still, however, subject to a number of discriminatory rules. Since 1451 they were required to wear a badge that signified that they were Jewish. Additionally, beginning in 1553 the Jews were forced to listed to the court minister Urbanus Rhegius preach in their synagogue.  In fact, between 1553 and 1601 the city’s dukes issued six orders of expulsion against the Jews, but they were either revoked or not carried out; for a long time the Jews were also not allowed to live in the old city. In addition, in 1588 the council forbade all business connections with Jews. The process of community growth alongside persecution continued during the 17th century. In 1608 the six Jewish families living in the new city opened a synagogue. That synagogue was destroyed, however, in 1613 by the city’s residents.

There was progress however, and community growth, particularly during the 18th century. The dukes allowed several wealthy Jews to live in the new city. The court Jew, Leffmann Behrens, established a synagogue in his home in 1704, and advocated for a rabbinate to be founded in the Duchy of Hanover. In 1710 there were seven Jewish families living in the city, but as the century went on, through the 19th century, the Jewish population increased considerably, reaching 537 in 1833.

Hanover became an important center of Jewish learning, as well as the home of several important Jewish figures from the world of finance. The community built a larger synagogue in 1870, which was subsequently expanded in 1900. Hanover became a center for Hebrew printing; among the significant works published in Hanover’s Hebrew press was Jacob B. Asher’s (also known as the Ba’al HaTurim) commentary on the Torha. The Hebraist Solomon Frensdorff led a teacher’s seminary between 1848 and 1880. Another school that functioned in the city between 1893 and 1942 focused on teaching gardening, in particular growing fruits and vegetables.

Prominent rabbis who were active in Hanover included Nathan Adler (1831-1845) and Selig Gronemann (1844-1918).

The Jewish population grew significantly between the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1861 Hanover’s Jews numbered 1,120 (1.9% of the total population). By 1880 that number had grown to 3,450 (2.8% of the total). In 1910 the number of Jews living in Hanover was 5,130 (1.7%). During the interwar period, however, the population began to decline, mostly due to immigration; the rate of immigration increased significantly, however, after the Nazi rise to power in 1933. In 1933 Hanover’s Jewish population was 4,839 (1.1%). By 1939 it had dropped to 2,271 (0.5%). Nonetheless, on the eve of World War II (1939-1945) Hanover was home to one of the ten largest Jewish communities in Germany, with over 20 active cultural and welfare institutions.

 

THE HOLOCAUST

Hanover’s Jewish community, like Jewish communities throughout Germany, were targeted for persecution after the Nazi’s took power. In response, the community intensified its Jewish educational programming, with a particular focus on the youth organizations, and prepared residents for immigration.

The destruction of the community began in earnest in 1938 when the synagogues were destroyed and Jews terrorized. Later, between 1941 and 1945 approximately 2,900 Jews were deported from Hanover to concentration camps.

 

POSTWAR

After the war 66 survivors from the prewar community returned to the city. Together with survivors from other areas who decided to settle in Hanover, they helped reestablish Hanover’s Jewish community. By 1966 there were 450 Jews living in the city (0.03% of the total population). A new synagogue opened in 1963.

 

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The Jewish Community of Ahlem

Ahlem

A village near Hanover, Germany.

Ahlem is known for its Jewish horticultural school, the first of its type in Germany. Ahlem was founded in 1893 by the Jewish philanthropist Moritz Alexander Simon and was open to all suitable Jewish applicants, regardless of ideological affiliation. It trained hundreds of Jewish youths as agriculturalists and skilled workers. The three-year curriculum included agricultural subjects, especially horticulture, in addition to general subjects taught in secondary schools. On its foundation boys from the age of 14 were admitted; from 1903 to the 1920s girls over 16 were accepted for vocational training and home economics, and subsequently horticulture. A boarding school and elementary school for children between the ages of eight and 13 were added. In 1933 the number of pupils totaled approximately 50, but increased to 120 between 1936 and 1938. The school was authorized by the Nazis as a center for vocational training for Jewish youth intending to emigrate, and was permitted to issue
graduation certificates. Between 1933 and 1939 about 300 pupils graduated from Ahlem, and some of them emigrated to the Land of Israel.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Hanover
Lower Saxony - Niedersachsen

German: Hannover

 

A city in Germany. Hanover is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony.

 

21ST CENTURY

Hanover is home to three synagogues, two Reform, Synagogue Etz Chaim and Liberale Judische Gemeinde; and one traditional, Hanover Synagogue. The European Center for Jewish Music is also located in Hanover.

The Jewish community has approximately 3,000 members and has continued to grow through the 21st century.

 

HISTORY

Sources dating from 1292 note the presence of Jews in Hanover's old city (Altstadt). Because this period was one in which the city expanded significantly, Jewish moneylenders were welcomed and promised protection by the city council; indeed, a municipal law from 1303 prohibited anyone from mistreating the city’s Jews "by word or deed.” By 1340 the Jewish community was also granted permission to practice kosher butchery.

Nonetheless, during the period of anti-Jewish violence that broke out against Jews throughout Europe in the wake of the Black Death (1348-1349), the Jews were expelled from the city. Between 1369 and 1371 only one Jew lived in Hanover until he, too, was expelled by the council. It was only in 1375 that the dukes who were in charge of the city granted the city the ability to readmit Jews and levy taxes on them. By 1540 there were three Jewish families living in the old city, and five in the new. The growing community also maintained a synagogue and a rabbi.

Although the Jews were permitted to resettle in Hanover, they were still, however, subject to a number of discriminatory rules. Since 1451 they were required to wear a badge that signified that they were Jewish. Additionally, beginning in 1553 the Jews were forced to listed to the court minister Urbanus Rhegius preach in their synagogue.  In fact, between 1553 and 1601 the city’s dukes issued six orders of expulsion against the Jews, but they were either revoked or not carried out; for a long time the Jews were also not allowed to live in the old city. In addition, in 1588 the council forbade all business connections with Jews. The process of community growth alongside persecution continued during the 17th century. In 1608 the six Jewish families living in the new city opened a synagogue. That synagogue was destroyed, however, in 1613 by the city’s residents.

There was progress however, and community growth, particularly during the 18th century. The dukes allowed several wealthy Jews to live in the new city. The court Jew, Leffmann Behrens, established a synagogue in his home in 1704, and advocated for a rabbinate to be founded in the Duchy of Hanover. In 1710 there were seven Jewish families living in the city, but as the century went on, through the 19th century, the Jewish population increased considerably, reaching 537 in 1833.

Hanover became an important center of Jewish learning, as well as the home of several important Jewish figures from the world of finance. The community built a larger synagogue in 1870, which was subsequently expanded in 1900. Hanover became a center for Hebrew printing; among the significant works published in Hanover’s Hebrew press was Jacob B. Asher’s (also known as the Ba’al HaTurim) commentary on the Torha. The Hebraist Solomon Frensdorff led a teacher’s seminary between 1848 and 1880. Another school that functioned in the city between 1893 and 1942 focused on teaching gardening, in particular growing fruits and vegetables.

Prominent rabbis who were active in Hanover included Nathan Adler (1831-1845) and Selig Gronemann (1844-1918).

The Jewish population grew significantly between the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1861 Hanover’s Jews numbered 1,120 (1.9% of the total population). By 1880 that number had grown to 3,450 (2.8% of the total). In 1910 the number of Jews living in Hanover was 5,130 (1.7%). During the interwar period, however, the population began to decline, mostly due to immigration; the rate of immigration increased significantly, however, after the Nazi rise to power in 1933. In 1933 Hanover’s Jewish population was 4,839 (1.1%). By 1939 it had dropped to 2,271 (0.5%). Nonetheless, on the eve of World War II (1939-1945) Hanover was home to one of the ten largest Jewish communities in Germany, with over 20 active cultural and welfare institutions.

 

THE HOLOCAUST

Hanover’s Jewish community, like Jewish communities throughout Germany, were targeted for persecution after the Nazi’s took power. In response, the community intensified its Jewish educational programming, with a particular focus on the youth organizations, and prepared residents for immigration.

The destruction of the community began in earnest in 1938 when the synagogues were destroyed and Jews terrorized. Later, between 1941 and 1945 approximately 2,900 Jews were deported from Hanover to concentration camps.

 

POSTWAR

After the war 66 survivors from the prewar community returned to the city. Together with survivors from other areas who decided to settle in Hanover, they helped reestablish Hanover’s Jewish community. By 1966 there were 450 Jews living in the city (0.03% of the total population). A new synagogue opened in 1963.

 

Jewish students at the agricultural school in Ahlem near Hannover, Germany, 1920s
Jewish students in front of the agricultural school in Ahlem near Hannover, Germany, 1935
Jewish students orking in the Jewish agricultural school, Ahlem near Hannover, Germany, 1900's
Jewish students at the agricultural achool, Ahlem, Germany ,1920s
Ahlem Agricultural Jewish School near Hanover, c.1935
Jewish students in the greenhouse o
f the agricultural school in Ahlem
near Hannover, Germany, 1920s
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot)
Jewish students in front of the agricultural school
in Ahlem near Hannover, Germany, 1935
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot)
Jewish students orking in the Jewish agricultural school,
Ahlem near Hannover, Germany, 1900's
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot)
Jewish students working in the greenhouse
of the agricultural school in Ahlem,
near Hannover, Germany, 1920s
(The Oster Visual Documentation Center, Beit Hatfutsot)
Ahlem agricultural jewish school.
Near Hanover, c1935.
(Bernard Moch, by Dr. Lowe)