General information: First Jewish presence: 1680; peak Jewish population: 131 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 105
Summary: The Jewish community of Oranienburg established several institutions during the 19th century: a modest synagogue on Havelstrasse (either at no. 6 or 58) was in use by 1838, and a cemetery was consecrated on Kremmenerstrasse in 1815. The congregation chose to retain its own synagogue after the community was incorporated, in 1920, into Berlin’s official Jewish community. Although the Oranienburg Jews were mostly merchants, others gained recognition in other professions. Louis Blumenthal was the town’s first banker, and Nachum Oppenhaimer founded a prominent charity. All Jewish properties were attacked on Pogrom Night, but the main targets were the synagogue and Jewish-owned businesses. The ruins of the synagogue and community center were destroyed by bombs during the war, and we also know that government buildings were later built on the site. Sachsenhausen, the second largest concentration camp in Germany, was located in the Oranienburg district. Werner Michael Blumenthal, a Jewish Oranienburg native, served as Jimmy Carter’s treasury secretary in the late 1970s, after which he was appointed director of the Jewish museum in Berlin. Oranienburg’s new Jewish congregation was founded in 2000. A memorial plaque has been unveiled at the former synagogue site.
Photo: The synagogue of Oranienburg. Courtesy of: City Archive of Oranienburg.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Sources: EJL, LJG, YV
Located in: brandenburg