General information: First Jewish presence: unknown; peak Jewish population: 114 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: 32
Summary: Jews lived in Cochem intermittently throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. In 1286, 17 Cochem Jews were murdered following a blood libel allegation. Jewish residents were driven out of the town several times before establishing a lasting presence there in the early 19th century. Local Jews established a cemetery in the 18th century; a prayer room, located in a private residence, by 1853; a synagogue in 1860; and a new cemetery in 1877. In 1897, a school house with living quarters for a teacher was built inside the synagogue. In 1933, 32 Jews belonged to the Cochem community, some of whom were from neighboring towns and villages. Twelve children received religious instruction, and a Jewish women’s association and a charity group were active in the community. On Pogrom Night, Cochem’s synagogue was desecrated. By 1939, only 16 Jews still lived in Cochem. The town’s last three Jews were deported to Theresienstadt in June 1942. At least nine local Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue, destroyed during an air raid in early 1945, was later demolished. The remains of the second Jewish cemetery can still be found on Kelberger Strasse; this cemetery has been desecrated several times since World War II, most recently in 1995.
Author / Sources: Bronagh Bowerman
Sources: AJ, EJL, FJG, SG- RPS