General information: First Jewish presence: 1367; peak Jewish population: 185 in 1871; Jewish population in 1933: 67
Summary: Although Jews had lived in Reichenbach (present-day Dzierżoniów, Poland) intermittently since the mid-1300s, it was not until 1820 that they established a community there. In 1875, the community built a three-story synagogue. Shortly afterwards, the Jewish population of Reichenbach began to drop dramatically: by 1930, only 52 Jews still lived in the town. The Jewish community was dissolved in 1937, and the synagogue was sold at auction to Konrad Springer, a local gardener. Although the building was no longer under Jewish ownership on Pogrom Night, the Nazis nevertheless ravaged its interior. That same night, three Jewish-owned businesses and a number of Jewish homes were destroyed. After the war, Reichenbach/Dzierżoniów became a gathering point for those who had returned from the camps. In 1945, 2,600 Jews lived in in Reichenbach, and Konrad Springer returned the old synagogue building to the community, to be used as a synagogue once again. In 2007, a Jewish philanthropist, born in Reichenbach and now living in Israel, donated money to refurbish the synagogue and renamed it Beitenu Chai (“our house lives”).
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: EJL, LJG
Located in: lower-saxony