General information: First Jewish presence: mid-1200s; peak Jewish population: 107 in 1830; Jewish population in 1933: 45
Summary: In the mid-1200s, Parchim was the largest Jewish community in the Mecklenburg area. Although they were expelled from the town in 1350, Jews were permitted to return shortly thereafter and remained there until another expulsion in 1492. It was not until 250 years later that Jews were once again permitted to live in Parchim. The official Jewish community of Parchim, founded in 1763, consecrated a prayer room (located in a private house) that same year, a small synagogue in 1823 and a larger house of worship in 1883. In Parchim, anti-Semitism did not become rampant until 1935. By the middle of 1936, religious services at the synagogue had been suspended. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), SS men destroyed the interior of the synagogue, after which they took its contents to the center of town and set them on fire. The Jewish community was forced to pay for the demolition of the building. Two small memorial plaques were unveiled in Parchim: one in the backyard of the former synagogue site, the other in what was once the cemetery site.
Photo: The synagogue of Parchim. Courtesy of: City Archive of Parchim.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Source: EJL, LJG, SIA