General information: First Jewish presence: 1546; peak Jewish population: 166 in 1926; Jewish population in 1933: 107
Summary: The Jews of Weisweiler were affiliated with the congregation in Dueren. Synagogues were inaugurated in the village in 1760 and in 1891 respectively, the latter of which was located on Moltkestrasse, in a house belonging to the Kaufmann family. Weisweiler had a Jewish school during the years 1844 to 1861. Although the synagogue was confiscated from the Jewish community in 1935, Nazis nevertheless attacked the building on Pogrom Night (November 1938), breaking windows and destroying the furniture and ritual objects; at the marketplace, the Torah scrolls, prayer books and benches were set on fire. Jewish homes were wrecked that night, and the cemetery was desecrated. Jews who stayed in Weisweiler after the pogrom were eventually deported, prior to which they had been forced to move into a barracks. Deportation records mention the names of 52 Weisweiler Jews; Yad Vashem has details on at least nine murdered local Jews, but the actual figure is probably higher. In 1988, a memorial was unveiled next to the former synagogue site and, in 2008, commemorative stumbling stones were embedded in sidewalks throughout the town.
Author / Sources: Swetlana Frank
Sources: FJG, LJG, SG-NRW