General information: First Jewish presence: 1564; peak Jewish population: 915 in 1772 (51.8% of the total population total); Jewish population in 1933: 186
Summary: The earliest available records of a Jewish presence in Flatow are dated 1564. During the Second Northern War (1655- 1660), several Jews were executed there. Although Jewish homes were destroyed by a fire in 1674, they were rebuilt during the following years. Many local Jews were craftsmen. In 1690, the community consecrated a synagogue and a cemetery. A new synagogue—the architectural style incorporated Romanesque-Moorish features—was built on Kraumarkt in 1878/79. As a result of the emergence of National Socialism and the anti-Jewish boycott of 1933, many Jews left Flatow. In 1933, 186 Jews remained, served by a rabbi and a chazzan who also performed the duties of shochet and teacher. Eighteen schoolchildren received religious instruction at public elementary and secondary schools. Active in the community were a chevra kadisha (founded in 1825), a Jewish women’s association (1867) and a local branch of the Jewish Youth League (the Jugendbund). The synagogue and Jewish-owned stores were destroyed on Pogrom Night; Jewish men were taken to Sachsenhausen. Later, in March 1940, local Jews were interned near Schneidemuehl and then deported to Eastern Europe. At least 37 Flatow Jews perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque was later embedded into the ground of the former synagogue site; and a small memorial has been unveiled at the Jewish cemetery.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: EJL, FJG, LJG, W-E, W-G, YV
Located in: pomerania