General information: First Jewish presence: mid-1500s; peak Jewish population: 72 in 1885; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (54 in 1932)
Summary: Rimbeck’s synagogue, named Im Hagebrunnen, was built in Heinrich Blasé’s garden in 1853, when the Rimbeck Jewish community separated from that of nearby Ossendorf. It was not, however, until 1875 that the synagogue became property of the Jewish community; as its steps were located on municipal land, taxes were paid to the municipality accordingly. That same year, the Jews of Rimbeck consecrated a cemetery. The synagogue was renovated in 1928. In 1932/33, the community leaders were D. Dannenbaum and L. Cohn Warburg. Rimbeck’s affiliated Jewish communities were Ossendorf and Bonenburg. The synagogue was damaged and vandalized on Pogrom Night; an eyewitness who was 10 years old at the time said that the building was set on fire. Records also tell us that Jewish men were sent to Buchenwald, that a young girl was raped, and that local youths smashed windows in Jewish-owned businesses (Vorreuther’s establishment was destroyed). Rose Meyer recalled how she and her family were dragged out of their house and assaulted by townspeople, after which they were the victims of relentless persecution. Rose Meyer’s father died in 1941, after his family had been forcibly relocated. The synagogue ruins were demolished in 1940. Later, in December of 1941 and July of 1942, the town’s remaining Jews were deported to the Riga Ghetto. At least 38 Jews from Rimbeck perished in the Shoah. A memorial plaque commemorates the synagogue and Rimbeck’s former Jewish community.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: AH, EJL, FJG, SG-NRW, YV