General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 281 in 1880; Jewish population in 1932/33: 112 or 130
Summary: Although Jews first settled in Belgard in the late 17th century, it was not until 1826 that a synagogue (at 6 Jaegerstrasse) was inaugurated there. The Jewish cemetery was located near Polziner Chaussee. In 1920, Jewish men were arrested and their businesses looted; a local Jew was accused of murder. One hundred and twelve Jews lived in Belgard in 1932/33. A shochet served the community, and a teacher instructed nine schoolchildren in religion. Two Jewish welfare associations—an Israelite women’s association and a chevra kadisha, the latter of which was established in 1858— and a literature club were active in the community. The Jewish cemetery was desecrated at some point after 1933. It was during this period, too, that a Polish Jew married to a Christian woman was chased through the streets due to alleged racial defilement. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was set on fire, after which the SA used the building for various purposes, including as an interrogation center. Several Jewish residents emigrated from or relocated within Germany. In October 1942, only one Jew lived in Belgard. At least 72 Belgard Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building, converted into an apartment house after the war, was torn down in 1988.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn; Sources: EJL, FJG, GKJP, LBIBAKB1. YV www.belgard.org
Located in: pomerania