General information: First Jewish presence: 15th century; peak Jewish population: 86 in 1850; Jewish population in 1933: 38
Summary: Local Jews conducted services in a prayer hall, which was shared with the Jews of nearby Butzweiler and Welschbillig, until 1860, when the community inaugurated a synagogue at 2 Neweler Strasse. Consecrated in 1600, the cemetery was enlarged in 1930. Exterior of the synagogue of Aachen in or around the year 1900. Courtesy of: City Archive of Aachen. Beginning in the 19th century, the community employed a series of Jewish teachers; later, it was decided that the teacher, who also served as chazzan and shochet, would focus exclusively on religious instruction. On Pogrom Night, rioters destroyed the synagogue’s interior and threw out the Torah scrolls. Jewish homes were heavily damaged, and foodstuffs were thrown out of a Jewish- owned inn. In 1942, the synagogue was forcibly sold to the municipality, after which the building was used as an army stable and, later, as a prison. By 1938, five of the remaining eight Jewish families had immigrated to the United States. Aach’s last 12 Jews were deported to the East in the transports of October 1941, April 1942, July 1942 and March 1943. At least 37 Aach Jews and 10 from Welschbillig perished in the Shoah. The synagogue, sold yet again in 1954, was converted into a residential building two years later. In 1996, however, the building was renovated and declared a public monument, to which a commemorative plaque was affixed in 1998. The restored cemetery also houses a memorial.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: AJ, EJL, SLTS