General information: First Jewish presence: early 18th century; peak Jewish population: see below; Jewish population in 1933: 30-46
Summary: Always small, the Jewish community of Cloppenburg numbered approximately 30 members between 1822 and 1922. Many Cloppenburg Jews were cattle and horse traders, butchers, merchants and tailors. Cloppenburg’s Jewish cemetery, consecrated in the 18th century, was located on the outskirts of town, on the route to Stedingsmuehlen. The first available record of a prayer room is from the 1830s, and we also know that this room was later replaced by rented premises that included a synagogue, a school and an apartment for a teacher who frequently served as chazzan and shochet. The community inaugurated a new synagogue on Krankenhausstrasse/Ritterstrasse in 1866, after which, in 1871, a new cemetery was consecrated next to the synagogue site. Many Jews joined local associations during the 19th century. On Pogrom Night, rioters burned down the synagogue building and confiscated its ritual objects. Jewish-owned businesses were looted and vandalized, and local Jewish men were sent to and imprisoned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp for several weeks. Nineteen Cloppenburg Jews managed to emigrate from Germany during the following years. The cemetery was restored in 1954. Together with the adjacent synagogue site, it was converted into a memorial in 1983. A plaque commemorates the former Jewish community. At least 20 Cloppenburg Jews perished in the Shoah, most of them in Sobibor.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, JG NB1, SIA
Located in: lower-saxony