General information: First Jewish presence: 13th century; peak Jewish population: 175 in 1905; Jewish population in the 1933: 114
Summary: The earliest record of Lueneburg’s Judengasse (“Jews’ alley”), on which a prayer room was apparently located, is dated 1288. Jews were expelled from Lueneburg in 1348/49, and it was not until 1680 that a new community was founded there. Records also tell us that services were conducted in private prayer rooms until 1894, when local Jews inaugurated a synagogue at 5 Schifferwall. Other communal institutions included a school and a cemetery, the latter of which was consecrated on Am Neuen Felde in 1883 (closed in 1934). In 1933, 114 Jews lived in Lueneburg, served by a chazzan from Hamburg. A teacher from Hamburg instructed nine schoolchildren at the school for religious studies. Active in the community were a Jewish women’s association (1922) and a cemetery foundation, both of which conducted welfare work. In Lueneburg, the anti-Jewish boycott was enforced beginning in March 1933, as a result of which most Jews left. The synagogue was sold in October 1938, presumably after the last service was conducted there (on October 23). It is not clear whether the building was torn down in October of 1938 or on Pogrom Night. We know for certain, however, that members of the SA desecrated the cemetery on Pogrom Night, and that they vandalized and looted Jewish-owned shops. Local Jewish men were sent to Sachsenhausen the next day. In 1943, the remaining Jews were sent to Hamburg, from where they were deported. At least 41 Lueneburg Jews perished in the Shoah. For several years after the war, Lueneburg was home to a displaced persons camp. Several memorials and stumbling stones commemorate the former synagogue, its members and the deportees.
Photo: The ruins of the synagogue of Lueneburg after Pogrom Night, November 9/10, 1938. Courtesy of: The Ghetto Fighters House Photo Archive, 14187.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: EJL, FJG, HU, JGNB1, LJG, SIA, W-G
Located in: lower-saxony