General information: First Jewish presence: 1505; peak Jewish population: approximately 400 in 1927; Jewish population in 1932/33: 237
Summary: The earliest available record of a Jewish family in Hoerde is dated 1505. Few Jews, however, were permitted to settle there before the beginning of the 18th century. Founded in 1789/90, the community initially conducted services in private prayer rooms. The Jews of Hoerde received equal rights in 1808, when Hoerde was under French rule; this, coupled with the development of industry, triggered considerable growth in the Jewish population. In 1818, the community purchased a house on the corner of Lange Strasse and Goldstrasse for use as a synagogue. Finally, in 1900, local Jews inaugurated a magnificent synagogue—an organ was used during services—on Victoriastrasse (present-day Semerteichstrasse). Although the Liberal congregation was incorporated into Dortmund in 1927, it (and its affiliated communities) remained independent. The synagogue was renovated in 1929. Other communal institutions included a private Jewish elementary school (established in 1842) and two cemeteries: at Muehlentor (consecrated in the mid-18th century) and on Hoerder Kampweg (1914-1967). In 1933, 237 Jews lived in Hoerde. Thirty-one schoolchildren received religious instruction, and a Jewish women’s association provided services to the sick and indigent. The synagogue, which had been desecrated on several occasions during the 1930s, was set on fire by SA troops on Pogrom Night. In Hoerde, Jewish homes and stores were vandalized during the pogrom. The synagogue ruins were torn down in or around 1940, and we also know that the cemetery was largely destroyed during the Nazi period. Sixty-nine Jews lived in Hoerde in 1939, some of whom managed to emigrate. Beginning in January 1942, the Jews of Hoerde were deported, together with those from Dortmund, to the concentration camps. At least 43 Hoerde Jews perished in the Shoah. At the synagogue site, which now accommodates a residential building, a memorial plaque was unveiled in 1982, as was a commemorative stele at a later date.
Photo: The synagogue on Hiltropwall in Dortmund. Courtesy of: Yad Vashem Photo Archive, 214AO9.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: EJL, FJG, HU, LJG, SIA, YV