General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 111 in 1900; Jewish population in 1933: 53
Summary: In 1675, the Jewish community of Lemgo was permitted to conduct services in a private residence. The house was sold in 1742, after which Jews prayed in Brake (Brake and Hohenhausen were affiliated communities). At some point in the 19th century, services were conducted in a private residence at 12 Papperstrase, where Jews prayed until the establishment, in 1883, of a synagogue on Neue Strasse. The community established two cemeteries (one in 1850, the other in 1870) and a Jewish elementary school, the latter of which closed down in 1915. Local Jews did not employ a teacher after 1922, but children were able to continue studying religion with teachers from other communities. In 1933, three schoolchildren received religious instruction. Later, in 1935, vandals smashed windows in a Jewish-owned business and vandalized Jewish homes. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue was set on fire, a Jewishowned business was destroyed and looted, the windows of Jewish homes were broken and the new cemetery was desecrated. Three men were sent to Buchenwald, where one was severely injured. The old cemetery site was closed and leveled shortly afterwards. Four Lemgo Jews emigrated, 23 relocated within Germany and nine died in the town. In 1939, the remaining Jews were moved into four designated houses; and in 1941/42, 28 Jews (including some from the vicinity) were deported, 22 of them to Theresienstadt. At least 33 Lemgo Jews, and three from Brake, perished in the Shoah. A commemorative stone and a memorial were unveiled at the synagogue site in 1963 and 1987, respectively. In 1988, a permanent exhibition on the Jewish community was opened in a former Jewish home.
Photo: Curious onlookers in front the burned synagogue of Lemgo on the morning of November 10, 1938. Courtesy of: City Archive of Lemgo.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut
Sources: FJG, LAV, PK-NW