General information: First Jewish presence: 1535; peak Jewish population: 270 in 1890; Jewish population in 1933: 115 or 126
Summary: Although Jews were thought to have lived in Lippstadt from the middle of the 14th- century, the first available record of a Jewish presence there is dated 1535. Prominent Jewish residents included David Gans (born in 1541), the disciple of Rabbi Loew of Prague and one of the first Jewish scholars to engage in secular studies; and the Herz family: the first Jews to become citizens of Prussia (in the 18th century). Lippstadt became the center of a synagogue district in 1853. Lippstadt Jews conducted services in prayer halls, all of which were located in private residences, until July 30, 1852, when a synagogue was inaugurated at 7, Stiftstrasse; the building also accommodated an elementary school. Burials were conducted in a cemetery on Burgstrasse beginning in or around the year 1700 until the 1830s, at which point a new cemetery was consecrated next to the town’s general burial grounds. In October 1935, Jews were banned from local restaurants, a rare measure in Germany at the time. Later, on Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue was incinerated, all Jewish-owned stores were destroyed and 25 Jewish men were sent to the Oranienburg concentration camp. Thirty-eight Jews lived in Lippstadt in 1938; the 18 Jews who still lived there in 1942 were deported and killed. In 1953, the synagogue plot was signed over to the Jewish Trust Corporation, which sold the site in 1954. A memorial plaque was later unveiled at the site, now a historical monument.
Author / Sources: Benjamin Rosendahl
Sources: EJL, LJG, SG-NRW