General information: First Jewish presence: 1677; peak Jewish population: 150 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: 127
Summary: A “protected” Jew (“Schutzjude”) lived in Wriezen in 1677, but it was only in the 18th century that a functioning Jewish community began to form there. A cemetery was acquired in 1730, and by 1750 six Jewish families were registered in the town, around which time the community began to offer classes in religion. Services were conducted in private residences until 1821, when the community built its first synagogue. The new house of worship was soon unable to accommodate the growing congregation, as a result of which the community built a new synagogue towards the end of the 19th century. Local Nazis burned down the synagogue on Pogrom Night. Many Jewish men were arrested that night, and while this triggered a subsequent wave of emigration, approximately 60 Jews still lived in Wriezen during the early 1940s. They were deported in 1941/42. In 1988, a memorial plaque was unveiled at the former synagogue site. The desecrated cemetery was restored in the 1980s, revealing many old, intricate tombstones. In 1993, however, the cemetery was yet again desecrated by members of a far right youth movement.
Author / Sources: Harold Slutzkin
Sources: EJL, LJG
Located in: brandenburg