General information: First Jewish presence: 1816; peak Jewish population: 130 in 1887; Jewish population in 1933: 70.
Summary: Two Jewish merchants settled in the Swinemuende sea port in 1816. Nine Jews were registered there in 1819, after which the Jewish population grew steadily. The community consecrated a prayer room (on Grosse Kirchenstrasse) and a synagogue (at 6 Neue Strasse) in, respectively, 1821 and 1859. Swinemuende was home to two Jewish cemeteries: near Friedenstrasse (in use from 1821 until 1875) and near Ahlbecker Landstrasse (in use from 1875 to 1938). We also know that a teacher (I. Oscherowitz), who also served as chazzan and shochet, was employed from 1890 until 1920. Jewish tourists were often harassed in Swinemuende during the 1920s. In 1933, 70 Jews lived in Swinemuende; ten children received religious instruction from the teacher/chazzan, and a Jewish women’s association conducted welfare work. During this period, Jewish boarding house owners and their customers were attacked in anti-Semitic riots. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), the synagogue was set on fire, Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed; three Jewish men were arrested. The cemetery was destroyed later that year, after which, on an unspecified date, the synagogue was blown up. Many local Jews had left by May 1939. In February 1940, the town’s remaining Jews were deported to Lublin. At least nine Swinemuende Jews perished in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: EJL, FJG, LJG, W-G, YV