General information: First Jewish presence: 1342; peak Jewish population: 139 in 1913 (total population: 13,415); Jewish population in 1933: 126
Summary: Jews were persecuted in Rheine in 1350 during disturbances associated with the Black Death. A new Jewish presence was recorded there in the 16th century, but the community was short-lived, as Jews were expelled from Rheine in 1560. One Jewish family lived in Rheine in 1678. The community established a small synagogue and a Jewish school in 1768 and 1850, respectively. At the school, students studied both religion and secular subjects. In 1856, Rheine Jews formed a synagogue community with those of Emsdetten and Neuenkirchen (as the regional synagogue community of Burgsteinfurt). The Jewish community of Rheine, however, became independent in 1884, soon after which, in 1887, a new synagogue was inaugurated on Salzbergener Strasse. In 1933, 126 Jews lived in Rheine. Later, in 1937, eight local Jews were forced to sell their businesses. On Pogrom Night, the SA worked in two groups: one group torched the synagogue and cut open the fire brigade’s hoses, the other vandalized and looted Jewish property. Several men were imprisoned, and one woman, stricken with terror, suffered a heart attack. Rheine’s Jewish school was spared, for it had been appropriated by the Nazis. By 1941, 56 local Jews had emigrated. In October 1941, 13 Jews were deported to Riga; three were deported to Riga in January 1942; and seven were deported to Theresienstadt in October 1942. At least 59 Rheine Jews perished in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: EJL, YV