Huels (Krefeld)

General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 122 in 1865; Jewish population in 1933: 60
Summary: The small Jewish community of Huels (now an urban district of Krefeld) was founded in the 17th century. Established during the community’s early years, Huels’ first synagogue was located in an old and inadequate structure; the congregation unsuccessfully applied for a new building on numerous occasions, but it was only in the 1860s, out of fear that the building would collapse, that the authorities tore down the structure. Services were conducted in the Jewish school until 1893, when, after years of denied requests, the congregation received a new building (on Kleverstrasse) for use as a synagogue. According to records, the community never established its own cemetery. We also know that although the town was home to a Jewish school, Jewish children usually attended the Catholic school. Synagogue services were discontinued in 1920, after which the ritual objects were transferred to the Judaica collection at the Rheinisches Museum. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 10, 1938) rioters not only destroyed the synagogue, but also vandalized Jewish stores and homes. Nine local Jews were deported to Riga, as were 12 to Theresienstadt. None survived.
Photo: The synagogue of Huels, on Klever Strasse, was burned on Pogrom Night in 1938. Courtesy of: City Archive of Huels.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Sources: EJL, LJG, SG-NRW