General information: First Jewish presence: 17th or 18th century; peak Jewish population: 74 in 1845; Jewish population in 1933: four families
Summary: It was not until approximately 1700 that a Jewish family settled in Garzweiler. With the exception of a building permit issued in 1756, there is no information about the community’s first synagogue, which existed from the 1750s until the beginning of the 20th century. Another synagogue, first mentioned in 1908, was built at an unspecified location in 1849. We also know that Garzweiler’s Jewish cemetery was consecrated in the 1750s. On Pogrom Night, November 1938, rioters desecrated the cemetery, destroyed the synagogue’s interior and set fire to the building. The synagogue building was later sold to a private individual and demolished in 1939. Local Jews either emigrated from the country or were deported to the East. At least nine Garzweiler Jews perished in the Shoah. At the former city hall, a plaque commemorates Garzweiler’s destroyed synagogue. As a result of a private initiative, a black memorial stele was unveiled at the Jewish cemetery, where 31 tombstones have been preserved. When the village of Garzweiler was relocated in the 1980s, the tombstones were moved to a new location; in 1990, the new burial grounds were dedicated.
Author / Sources: Beate Grosz-Wenker
Sources: EJL, LJG, SG-NRW