General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 25 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 17
Summary: Freren (Lower Saxony) – First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish The Jewish community of Freren, officially founded in 1844, included Jews from several neighboring communities. When the tiny community recorded its peak membership figure in 1905, most local Jews earned their livings as butchers. Beginning in the 18th century, burials were conducted in Lingen, which was affiliated with the Freren community; in 1924, however, the Jews of Freren consecrated their own cemetery on the street leading to Fuerstenau. Services were conducted in a private Jewish residence on Grulandstrasse. The community was not always able to maintain a Jewish school; therefore Jewish children often attended the local educational institutions with their Christian peers. During the second half of the 19th century, a teacher/chazzan intermittently instructed Freren’s Jewish children in religion. Records from the 1930s tell us that Freren was, during that decade, home to a Jewish women’s association. The cemetery was desecrated on Pogrom Night, and the prayer room was broken into and demolished by members of the local SA; ritual objects were thrown onto the street and burned, and the wife of the owner of the building was beaten and arrested. Jewish men were carted around town in a cattle wagon. By 1939, only ten Jews remained in Freren. In 1984, a memorial plaque was affixed to house in which the community had its prayer room. At least six Jews from Freren perished in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, HU, JG NB1, SIA
Located in: lower-saxony