General information: First Jewish presence: 1663; peak Jewish population: 145 in 1903; Jewish population in 1933: 70
Summary: Jews first settled in Hamm in 1663, but it was not until 1832 that a Jewish community was established there. Although we do not know when this community established its small synagogue and mikveh, records do tell us that in 1891, plans were drawn up for a larger house of worship. On the day of the new synagogue’s inauguration in 1894, the entire town festively marched the Torah scrolls from the old synagogue to the new one. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue was systematically destroyed. The Nazis first ravaged the interior by breaking all the furniture and tearing up the Torah scrolls and holy books, after which they demolished the exterior of the building and, finally, set it on fire. The destroyed building was torn down in 1945, and the site remained empty. In 1978, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Pogrom Night, a memorial was unveiled at the synagogue site. The memorial, an ironwork sculpture depicting a dome with flames around it, was enlarged in 2007 to include a sculpture of the synagogue.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: AJ, EJL, SG-RPS