Cologne-Deutz (Köln / Koeln)

General information: First Jewish presence: 1424; peak Jewish population: 248 in 1816; Jewish population in 1933: unknown
Summary: The Jewish community of Deutz, which is today part of the city of Cologne, started to expand after the Napoleonic armies granted Jews equal rights. Deutz’s Jewish cemetery, already in use in 1695 and located on land leased from the Cologne Archbishopric, served the community until World War I. We also know that local Jews conducted services in a small prayer hall until 1794, when the site was destroyed by flooding and was subsequently rebuilt into a two-story synagogue with schoolrooms and living quarters. It, too, was torn down (to make room for a bridge over the Rhine River) and rebuilt yet again in 1915. In Deutz, many Jews earned a living as moneylenders. Deutz was incorporated into Cologne in 1888. The boycotts of 1933 forced many Jews to leave Deutz. On Pogrom Night, November 1938, the interior of the synagogue was looted and later destroyed. A plaque was later affixed to the building. Another plaque, displayed at the railway station, commemorates the thousands—most of Cologne’s Jews were deported from Deutz—who were sent to Eastern Europe from there. The plaque reads: “Over this stairway many people went to their deaths.”
Photo: The synagogue of Cologne-Deutz. Courtesy of: The Wiener Library, University Tel Aviv, Israel.
Author / Sources: Harold Slutzkin
Sources; LIG, SIA