General information: First Jewish presence: 1534; peak Jewish population 184 in 1877; Jewish population in 1933: 45
Summary: In 1534, the 25 Jews of Neustadt made up nearly 10% of the town’s total population; these early Neustadt Jews were expelled in 1570, but not before they had managed to consecrate a synagogue (in 1540) and a cemetery (in 1541). It was not until the 19th century that Jews were permitted to return to Neustadt, after which they established a community (in 1854), a new cemetery (in 1861) and a synagogue (in 1877). This prosperous Jewish community also maintained an elementary school until 1911, but records do not tell us when it was built. Neustadt Jews were involved in many businesses; for example, textile manufacturing, cattle trading, and selling wholesale clothing. Samuel Fraenkel, the owner of a large cotton mill, financed the construction of the synagogue. The anti-Jewish boycott of 1933 did not affect the Jews in this area, for the region was protected by the League of Nations’ convention on minority rights. In 1937, however, anti-Semitic legislation was implemented in Neustadt, causing many Jews to emigrate or relocate. A Zionist training farm was set up in the area to prepare potential emigrants for life in Palestine. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue was set on fire and vandalized, as were Jewish-owned homes and businesses; a Torah scroll was paraded through the streets and burned in public. By 1939, only 39 Jews remained in the city, most of whom were deported to the camps in 1942. A memorial plaque was later unveiled at the synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Harold Slutzkin
Sources: EJL, LJG
Located in: silesia