General information: First Jewish presence: 1679; peak Jewish population: 68 in 1880 (25% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 13
Summary: The earliest record of a Jewish presence in Lage is a writ of protection (Schutzbrief) dated 1679. By 1901 at the latest, local Jews had inaugurated a synagogue on 87 Lange Strasse. The Jewish population growth of the late 19th century necessitated a larger house of worship, in response to which the community inaugurated a new synagogue at Friedrichstrasse. Other communal institutions included a cemetery—consecrated on Flurstrasse in the mid-1700s—and a Jewish school, the latter of which was located next to the synagogue (closed down in 1920). The community’s mikveh was located in the synagogue’s basement. In 1928, the Jewish communities of Detmond and Lage merged: Jews from both towns attended synagogue services in Detmond; burials were conducted in Lage. In the summer of 1935, Lage’s synagogue, defunct for seven years, was wrecked. The municipality purchased the building on October 26, 1938 (roughly two weeks before Pogrom Night) after which it ordered that both the synagogue and nearby Jewish school be burned down. The community had ceased to function by Pogrom Night (November 1938), with its remaining Jews moving to Detmold or to other cities. According to Yad Vashem, at least 11 local Jews were killed in the Shoah. Memorial plaques have been unveiled at the former synagogue site and at the cemetery.
Photo: The destruction of the synagogue of Lage, which was sold as a result of the anti-Semitic persecution of its congregation, shortly before Pogrom Night in 1938. Courtesy of: Town Archive of Lage.
Author / Sources: Benjamin Rosendahl
Sources: LJG, SG-NRW, YV