General information: First Jewish presence: 16th century; peak Jewish population: 65 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 43
Summary: Horstmar’s first Jewish family was documented in 1683. Nineteen Jews lived there in 1816, and records tell us that in 1905, when the total population was 1,004, 65 Jews resided in Horstmar. Services were conducted in private residences until 1853, when the community purchased a small building on Gossenstrasse (formerly Ringstrasse) for use as a synagogue. Horstmar was home to a mikveh and a Jewish elementary school, the latter of which was opened in 1901 and attended by 18 children in 1913. In 1905, the community affiliated itself with the Orthodox rabbinate in Recklinghausen. By October 1938, many local Jews had emigrated; in July 1939, the remaining Jews left Horstmar. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), rioters ravaged former Jewish homes and destroyed the synagogue’s interior; the synagogue building, however, was not set on fire because of its proximity to neighboring houses. Fifteen Jewish residents of Horstmar perished in the Shoah. Today, not a single trace of the synagogue can be discerned. In 1987, a memorial plaque was unveiled near the synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Dorothea Shefer-Vanson
Sources: AH, EJL, LJG, SG-NRW, SIA, YV