General information: First Jewish presence: 1579; peak Jewish population: 54 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: 36
Summary: As was the case in many of Germany's smaller Jewish communities, the Jews of Drensteinfurt initially conducted services in a prayer room. Inaugurated in 1872 (the land had been purchased in 1870), the community's synagogue remained in use until Pogrom Night; at the last Sabbath service held there, the town's remaining Jews celebrated a Bar Mitzvah. On Pogrom Night, rioters burned the synagogue's contents. Due to its proximity to other structures, the synagogue building was not set on fire. An unidentified person managed to rescue one of the Torah scrolls, after which it was given to a local Catholic priest who eventually shipped the scroll to a synagogue in Buenos Aires. Although the synagogue was converted into a cultural center in November 1990, it still retains the architectural characteristics of a synagogue. In honor of Drensteinfurt's former Jewish community and synagogue, the synagogue's street, Kirchgasse, was renamed Synagogengasse; according to records, the street had once been called Judengasse.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: EJL, SG-NRW, SIA