General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 111 in 1863; Jewish population in 1933: 40
Summary: The modern Jewish community of Dransfeld, which emerged in the 18th century, was made up largely of cattle and horse traders, grain and textile merchants, used-goods dealers, shopkeepers and farm hands. In 1826, the Jews of Dransfeld moved their prayer room on Lange Strasse (it had been used since 1700) to a new building at 87 Gerlandstrasse; that same year, an official Jewish community was registered in Dransfeld. Later, in 1836, the community inaugurated a new synagogue on 102 Gerlandstrasse. Dransfeld’s Jewish school, established in a rented house in or around 1800, was eventually moved to a new building opposite the synagogue; the new building—it was owned by the community—also accommodated a mikveh. We also know that the Jewish cemetery on Am hohen Hagen became community property in 1853. Beginning in the mid-19th century, local Jews were active in the town council. According to records, the community maintained a charitable organization. The Jewish school was closed in 1933. By the beginning of 1938, only 17 Jews remained in town. In use until 1937, the synagogue was vandalized on Pogrom Night, its interior set on fire. Dransfeld’s remaining Jews were deported between 1941 and 1944. At least ten Jews from Dransfeld perished in the Shoah. Today, the former synagogue is registered as a historical monument but is used as a carpenter’s shop. A memorial plaque was erected there in 1983.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, HU, JGNB1, SIA
Located in: lower-saxony