General information: First Jewish presence: 1530; peak Jewish population: 108 in 1919; Jewish population in 1933:102
Summary: One Jewish family moved to Borken in 1327, but it was not until 1530 that a considerable Jewish presence established itself in the town. Jews were expelled from Borken in 1558, and did not return until 1816. Two years later, in 1818, they established a synagogue in the wing of an abandoned monastery. A new synagogue, housing a school and a mikveh, was inaugurated in 1897. On Pogrom Night, SA and SS men stormed the synagogue, removed the Torah scrolls and other holy books and arranged them in a neat pile in the synagogue’s courtyard. After burning the pile, they proceeded to burn down the synagogue. Local Jews were lined up in the street, where they were mocked and threatened. The remains of the synagogue were destroyed during a bombing raid; later, a new building was constructed on the site. No memorial exists on the site, but one was erected nearby.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: LJG, SG-NRW, SIA