General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 84 in 1892; Jewish population in 1933: 45
Summary: Two protected Jews lived in Nauen in 1315. Several Nauen Jews, including one named Mendel, were accused of host desecration and burned at the stake in 1509. Records suggest that Nauen was home to a Jewish cemetery during this period, south of what would later become the railway station. After 1700, Jews conducted services in a small payer room; in 1800, a synagogue was inaugurated on Potsdamer Strasse (present-day 11 Goethe Strasse). The community, which had its own chazzan, shochet and teacher, used Berlin’s Jewish cemetery until 1819, when a cemetery was consecrated on Am Weinberg. The town’s connection to the railroad network prompted many Jewish merchants, cattle dealers and doctors to settle there in 1846. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s furniture was smashed and its ritual objects desecrated. Ten Jewish men were taken into “protective custody,” and we also know that the municipality appropriated the synagogue building and the cemetery. At least five local Jewish families perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque, affixed to the façade of the former synagogue, and a sculpture in the Jewish cemetery, commemorate the destroyed community; both were unveiled in 1988.
Photo: The synagogue of Nauen after it was burned on Pogrom Night. Courtesy of: City Archive of Nauen.
Author / Sources: Beate Grosz-Wenker
Sources: AJ, EJL, LJG, SIA
Located in: brandenburg