General information: First Jewish presence: 16th century; peak Jewish population: 46 in 1900; Jewish population in 1935: five families
Summary: Several Jews lived in Attendorn in the second half of the 16th century. Beginning in 1840, the tiny community conducted services in a prayer room (located in a residential building). Burials took place in a cemetery shared with the Jewish community of neighboring Olpe. Among the more prominent Jewish-owned businesses in the town was A.A. Ursell Metal Works. In early 1937, a sign, erected at the entrance of the town, warned that, “Jews who set foot in this town do so at their own risk.” After an unidentified resident removed the sign, the Nazi newspaper Der Stuermer denounced Attendorn as a “Jew-friendly” town. On Pogrom Night, dozens of SS and SA men, accompanied by local children acting under the direction of their teacher, attacked and damaged the synagogue, Jewish homes and Jewish-owned businesses. The synagogue building was torn down in the mid-1980s, several years after which a memorial plaque was unveiled at the site.
Author / Sources: Moshe Aumann; Sources: LJG, SG-NRW