General information: First Jewish presence: 1664; peak Jewish population: 81 in 1853; Jewish population in 1933: 24
Summary: When Jews arrived in the village of Bedburdyck in 1664, they were surprised to find that they were welcome there. The community built its first synagogue in 1800; the mayor once boasted that it had been in existence “for as long as anybody can remember.” The synagogue was destroyed in the violence following the Neuenhoven blood libel of 1834. A massive effort to rebuild it was launched, and in 1837 the new synagogue was completed. Due to a lack of funds, it was a small, poorly constructed building: The windows were of plain, rather than stained, glass, the furnishings were crude and a plain red cloth was used for the Torah curtain. On Pogrom Night, SA men destroyed the building quickly and easily. We also know that the Torah scrolls and prayer books were torn and strewn in the street. Today, the former synagogue site accommodates a park. A memorial plaque was unveiled on the City Hall lawn, directly across the street from the former synagogue site.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel; Sources: LJG, SG-NRW, SIA