General information: First Jewish presence: see below; peak Jewish population: 85 in 1900; Jewish population in 1933: 27
Summary: Although we do not know when Jews first settled in Duderstadt, records do tell us that the town was home to a synagogue in 1338 (and, possibly, a cemetery). Records from 1457 mention a school whose teacher also served as the chazzan and mohel. The modern community emerged in the 19th century, with most of its members engaged in trade and finance. Records suggest that services were conducted in prayer rooms until 1843. In 1898, the community inaugurated a synagogue—the building also accommodated a schoolroom and an apartment for a teacher who served as chazzan and shochet— on Christian Blank Strasse. Duderstadt’s new Jewish school was established in 1870. In 1920, a local branch of the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith opened in Duderstadt. On Pogrom Night, Jewishowned properties were plundered; SS men set the defunct synagogue on fire, and four Jewish men were imprisoned temporarily. The remaining six Jews were eventually moved into one house; in 1942, the year during which the cemetery was leveled, they were deported. Later, in 1944 and 1945, 750 Jewish women from Hungary performed forced labor in Duderstadt. Three memorial stones were unveiled at the cemetery in 1953. A memorial plaque was erected at the former synagogue site in 1980. Between 18 and 26 Duderstadt Jews perished in the Shoah.
Photo: A group of schoolchildren and a teacher in front of the synagogue of Duderstadt, in or around the year 1910. Courtesy of: City Archive of Duderstadt.
Author / Sources: Heike Zaun Goshen
Sources: AH, HU, JGNB1, SIA
Located in: lower-saxony