General information: First Jewish presence: 1830; peak Jewish population: 328 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 195
Summary: It was not until 1830 that Jews settled in Waldenburg (present-day Walbrzych, Poland). As they did not obtain official permission to establish their own community, they joined the community of nearby Schweidnitz. From 1862 onwards, religious services were conducted Waldenburg in a large hall, with a seating capacity of 160, on the upper floor of a two-story building. This prayer room/synagogue served the community for the next twenty years. We also know that local Jews consecrated a cemetery in the 1860s. Finally, in 1878, when the Jews of Waldenburg were permitted to establish an autonomous community, plans were made for the construction of a new synagogue. The community purchased a plot of land on the corner of Wasser and Topferstrasse, and celebrated the purchase on September 5, 1882, with a large, well-attended ceremony. Construction was completed in 1883, after which a festive inauguration took place: in attendance were state and government dignitaries, local officials and representatives of the Catholic Church. A Jewish community center was built on the same site in 1920. By the early 1930s, anti-Semitic acts were on the rise, with Nazi youth groups verbally abusing Jewish businessmen. These acts eventually escalated into physical violence and, as a result, Jews started leaving Waldenburg. By 1939, only 24 Jews still lived in the town. The synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night and three Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed. Those Jews who remained in Waldenburg after 1942 were deported to the camps, where they likely perished.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources; EJL, LJG
Located in: lower-saxony