General information: First Jewish presence: late 17th century; peak Jewish population: 83 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 53
Summary: By 1905, most Dornum Jews were craftsmen, merchants and cattle traders. Relations with the local Christian population were good, with Jews serving on the town council. In 1721, the community consecrated a cemetery on Bollwarfsweg. The first available record of a prayer room is from 1730. In 1841, a proper synagogue was erected on Kichstrasse, after which it was renovated on many occasions; in 1920, electricity was installed in the building. Dornum Jews also maintained a mikveh and a school, the latter of which was presided over by a teacher who served as shochet and chazzan. In 1933, 53 Jews lived in Dornum, of whom over 20 left by year’s end; by 1938, only 15 Jews lived in the town. Although the synagogue had been sold to a neighboring carpenter on November 7, 1938, SA men broke into and vandalized the building on Pogrom Night; ritual objects and Torah scrolls, stolen from the community chairman’s home, were burned in the street. The cemetery was sold during the war, the gravestones removed; later, at some point after 1945, Allied forces restored both. Dornum’s synagogue, later used as a storage site, was renovated in 1981. Later, in 1990, it was converted into a memorial site with a commemorative plaque. At least 11 Dornum Jews died in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, AJ, EJL, HU
Located in: lower-saxony