Kuestrin (Brandenburg Neumark) - today in Poland

General information: First Jewish presence: 1815; peak Jewish population: 222 in 1880; Jewish population in 1932/33: 150
Summary: The Jewish population of Kuestrin grew from 111 in 1852 to 222, the peak, in 1880. Many local Jews were merchants who contributed to the economic development of the town. Services were conducted in private residences until 1884, when the community inaugurated a synagogue on Baeckereigasse. Jews from neighboring towns attended that synagogue’s services; in 1902, the Jews of Sonnenberg joined the Kuestrin community. We also know that in 1934, a new synagogue was inaugurated on Seidelstrasse. Other communal institutions included a school and a cemetery, the latter of which was located on the corner of Gueterbahnhofstrasse and Seidelstrasse (and was enlarged in 1899). In 1932/33, Kuestrin was home to 150 Jews; 15 schoolchildren received religious instruction, and a chevra kadisha and a Jewish literature club were active in the community. After the implementation of the anti-Jewish boycott (April 1, 1933), Jewish-owned businesses were vandalized and damaged. Many Jews left the town during the following months, so that only 96 still lived there in June 1933. Additional anti-Jewish measures were announced in the autumn of 1934. The synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night, and local Jewish men were arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen. By May 1939, Kuestrin’s Jewish population had dropped to 24. At least 14 Kuestrin Jews perished in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: EJL, FJG, LJG, YV
Located in: brandenburg