General information: First Jewish presence: 1230; peak Jewish population: 120 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 33
Summary: A report from 1230, the earliest record of a Jewish presence in Schoenbeck, mentions a Jewish salt trader. Jews were expelled from Schoenbeck in 1497, and it was not until the 18th century that a new Jewish presence was established there. Founded after 1820, the Jewish community of Schoenbeck also encompassed the smaller surrounding towns. In 1877, the community established a Jewish school, a cemetery and a Reform synagogue. Built in the Moorish architectural style, the Schoenbeck synagogue resembled the Oranienburger Strasse synagogue in Berlin. On Pogrom Night, the cemetery was damaged, Jewishowned homes and businesses were looted, 10 men were sent to concentration camps and the synagogue interior was destroyed. Roughly half the Jewish population managed to flee; the others were deported. At least 25 Schoenbeck Jews perished during the Nazi period. A plaque was later affixed to the still-intact synagogue exterior. It reads: “Remember, never forget. On November 9, 1938, the fascists destroyed the interior of this synagogue. Following restoration, God is once again worshiped here.” The last line of this inscription refers to the fact that the former synagogue is now an Evangelical church. The building, acquired by the church in 1980, is called Shalom House and still bears its original Star of David.
Author / Sources: Fred Gottlieb
Sources: EJL, LJG
Located in: saxony-anhalt