General information: First Jewish presence: 1570; peak Jewish population: 84 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (41 in 1932)
Summary: In 1740, Oelde’s few Jews leased—for use as a prayer hall—a plot of land on which stood a small house. Later, in 1829, the community inaugurated a purpose-built synagogue, after which the house was converted into schoolrooms and lodgings for the teacher. We also know that the community maintained, albeit intermittently, a private Jewish school until 1922, by which point the student body had diminished to such an extent that it was no longer viable to keep the school open. On Pogrom Night, the interior of the synagogue was vandalized and its ritual objects strewn on the street. The building itself was not destroyed, as it had already been appropriated by the local authorities and “aryanized.” Rebuilt in 1940 as a business complex, the building is used in that capacity to this day. A memorial plaque has been affixed to the structure. Very few Jews remained in Oelde after Pogrom Night. Those who did were deported; it is unlikely that any survived.
Author / Sources: Harold Slutzkin
Sources: LJG, SIA