General information: First Jewish presence: 1566; peak Jewish population: 49 in 1913; Jewish population in 1933: 48
Summary: Jews lived in Hallenberg as early as 1566, but it was only in the early 1700s that they established a prayer room. Later, when the Jews of Hallenberg aroused the ire of the Christian population by marching through the streets in honor of the dedication of a new Torah scroll, the city authorities responded by forbidding the use of prayer rooms. After numerous unsuccessful attempts, the Jewish community finally convinced the city elders to rescind the prohibition. A proper synagogue was never built in Hallenberg, as the need for one never arose; instead, prayer rooms were established in various private residences. In 1910, a member of the community enlarged his home to accommodate a permanent prayer room. On Pogrom Night, the SS arranged a rally in Hallenberg’s sports complex. At three o’clock in the morning they marched to the aforementioned house, wrecked it and set fire to the prayer room. The house in which the prayer room had been located was eventually torn down. In 2007, the city decided to erect a bronze memorial plaque in the vicinity of the former prayer room.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: EJL, LJG, SG-NRW, SIA