General information: First Jewish presence: 1340; peak Jewish population: 98 in 1843; Jewish population in 1933: 60
Summary: A Jewish prayer room existed in Duelken as early as 1659. Exactly one hundred years later, in 1759, Mr. Benjamin Moyses purchased the building, enlarged it and converted it into a proper synagogue. Moyses eventually donated that synagogue to the Jewish community. On June 10, 1898, the Jews of Duelken inaugurated a new synagogue; the building also housed a mikveh, a school and conference rooms. On Pogrom Night, SA officers burned down the synagogue, soon after which the rubble was removed and the site sold. Thanks to a prior warning, however, the Torah scrolls and other holy books had been removed from the synagogue and hidden in a private residence. Shortly before his deportation, Mr. Hermann Heymann, the Jewish community’s last surviving committee member, deposited the books with an Evangelist pastor for safekeeping. In 1948, the pastor gave the books to the newly formed Jewish community of Krefeld; and in 1964, the Torah scrolls found a home in Krefeld’s newly built synagogue. As of this writing, no memorial has been erected in Duelken.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: EJL, SG-NRW, SIA