General information: First Jewish presence: 1320; peak Jewish population: 284 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 20
Summary: During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the city of Pasewalk was the center of Jewish life in the state of Mecklenburg- Vorpommern. Although Jews lived in Pasewalk intermittently from 1320 onwards, it was not until 1820 that an official Jewish community was established there. In 1840, the community built a small synagogue behind a large apartment building; Pasewalk’s Jewish population had doubled by 1850, which necessitated an immediate expansion of the synagogue. In 1930, as a direct result of the swiftly deteriorating political situation, Jews began to leave Pasewalk in large numbers. Nevertheless, the community celebrated its centennial anniversary in 1932. The synagogue’s interior was destroyed on Pogrom Night, after which the building was set on fire. Eyewitnesses reported that the fire department was sent to the site not to extinguish the fire, but to protect the surrounding houses. On the 50th anniversary of Pogrom Night, the city of Pasewalk unveiled a memorial plaque near the former synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel