General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 99 in 1833; Jewish population in 1933: 43
Summary: A Judenstrasse (“Jews’ street”) existed in Warendorf in 1433. Beginning in the 16th century, Warendorf ’s Jewish community grew steadily, with many prominent Jewish officials from Muenster, such as the district rabbi, choosing to settle in the town. In 1648, the community established a prayer room in the back building at 317 Freckenhorsterstrasse (present-day no. 7); a Jewish school was located in the front of the building until 1845. In 1808, local Jews opened a new synagogue and a new cemetery—the latter replaced the older cemetery, which had been laid in 1772—in 1808 and 1810, respectively. We also know that local a Jewish sisterhood and a Gemach (an interest-free loan fund) were active in Warendorf. On Pogrom Night, members of the SA and SS attacked Jewish homes and destroyed the interior of the synagogue. Accordingly, several Jews were hospitalized; others were arrested and later deported to Riga. Although the synagogue building was sold at some point after the pogrom, services were conducted there again on the Jewish New Year of 1945. Paul Spiegel, a Jew from Warendorf who survived the Shoah (he hid in Flanders), later served as president of the Jewish Central Council of Germany.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Sources: EJL, LJG, FJG, SG-NRW