General information: First Jewish presence: late 18th century; peak Jewish population: 56 in 1920; Jewish population in 1933: unknown
Summary: In Ruppichteroth, most Jews were merchants, cattle dealers or kosher butchers. The community belonged to that of Nuernbrecht (in the province of Oberberg) for many years; local Jews sent their children to the school in Nuernbrecht and used that town’s burial facilities. Later, as the Jewish community of Ruppichteroth started to grow, the Jews there established their own chevra kadisha and prayer room, the latter of which was located in a private residence. We also know that the community maintained its own synagogue—a twostory building on Wilhelmstrasse—after 1920, and that a cemetery was consecrated on Herchener Strasse in the late 1920s. In November 1938, local residents and SS men from Oberber set the Ruppichteroth synagogue on fire, after which the fire department attempted to extinguish the blaze. On November 15, 1938, Gustav Gaertner was ordered to close the synagogue, and a Jew was forced to remove the Star of David from its roof. The property was appropriated by a local farmer some months later. In 1941/42, Ruppichteroth’s remaining Jews (approximately 15) were deported, via Cologne, to the East. At least 18 local Jews perished in the Shoah. After the war, Zionists conducted meetings in the building in which the synagogue was located. Now a hotel-restaurant, the structure is protected as a cultural monument.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: FJG, LJG, SG-NRW