General information: First Jewish presence: before 1300; peak Jewish population: 64 in 1863; Jewish population in 1933: 25
Summary: In Remagen, a Jewish community was founded in the 17th or 18th century. Records indicate that the community established a prayer room before 1794. In 1819, another prayer room was opened on the corner of Bachstrasse and Kirchstrasse; this room deteriorated over the years, and in August 1869, the congregation inaugurated a new synagogue. Remagen was also home to a mikveh and two Jewish cemeteries, the older of which was located on Auf der Heide; at the new cemetery, the first burial took place in 1891. Together with the Jews of Sinzig and Niederbreisig, the community maintained a school for religious studies from 1886 until 1895. After 1908, Sinzig, Remagen and Niederzissen jointly employed a teacher of religion who served as chazzan and shochet. From the 1920s onwards, the communities of Loehndorf and Bodendorf were affiliated with the Remagen-Sinzig regional synagogue community. In 1933, 25 Jews lived in Remagen. Their successful handicraft and trade association, which was originally founded as a chevra kadisha in 1837, had been promoting craftwork since 1888. One pupil received religious instruction. On Pogrom Night, SA men broke into the synagogue and burned down the building. The fire brigade intervened to protect the neighboring houses. Later, in May 1939, the synagogue’s ruins were sold to the Koblenz post office. Most local Jews had fled by 1939. Those who stayed were deported in April and July of 1942. At least 26 Remagen Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue’s ruins were torn down in 1944/45, and in 1964 the site was converted into a parking lot. In November 1999, a glasswork memorial in honor of Remagen’s Jews was unveiled at the Roemerplatz, only to be replaced in 2003 by a stone sculpture of the Star of David.
Photo: The synagogue of Remagen before its destruction in 1938. Courtesy of: City Archive of Remagen.
Author / Sources: Bronagh Bowerman
Sources: AJ, EJL, FGW, SG-RHN, SIA