General information: First Jewish presence: 1626; peak Jewish population: 73 in 1911; Jewish population in 1933: 20
Summary: The Jews of Bedburg founded their first synagogue in 1739. In 1825, they purchased a building complex that would serve the community’s spiritual and non- spiritual needs: The outermost building housed the elementary school and a teacher’s apartment, while the rear building housed the actual synagogue. While most small-town synagogues had a maximum of two Torah scrolls, Bedburg’s had six. On Pogrom Night, SA men, accompanied by members of the Hitler Youth, broke down the front door of the synagogue and systematically destroyed the building’s contents. Torah scrolls, prayer books and other ritual items were ripped to shreds and brought to the Marktplatz, where they were burned down as hoodlums sang festive songs and danced around the fire. Under the threat of death, the synagogue chairman signed over the property deeds to the town officials. The building was torn down in 1957 to make room for a pharmacy. As of this writing, a memorial to the Jewish community has never been unveiled in Bedburg.
Photo: Expropriated synagogue of Bedburg after Pogrom Night. Courtesy of: City Archive of Bedburg.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel; Sources: LJG, SG-NRW, SIA