General information: First Jewish presence: 18th century; peak Jewish population: 85 in 1861 (18.6% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 27
Summary: The Jewish community of Falkenberg, which came into being in the 18th century, consisted of four families in 1744. Jews from neighboring Hebel and Homberg were affiliated with the community in Falkenberg until 1909. Services were conducted in a private residence until approximately 1730, when the community inaugurated a synagogue at 34 Dorfstrasse (present-day Melsunger Strasse); the synagogue accommodated a mikveh, a teacher’s apartment, and 26 seats for men and 16 for women. The community maintained a cemetery to the northeast of the town (1754-1938) and a Jewish school, the latter of which was presided over by a teacher who also performed the duties of chazzan and shochet, but was closed in 1908/1909. In 1933, two children studied religion with a teacher from Borken. Synagogue services were discontinued in May 1938. Six months later, on Pogrom Night, members of the SA destroyed the synagogue. In 1939, 11 Jews lived in Falkenberg, some of whom immigrated to other countries (Argentina, China and other destinations) while others relocated within Germany. At least 24 Falkenberg Jews and 12 from Hebel perished in the Shoah. As of this writing, a memorial plaque has not been unveiled at the synagogue site, now a garden.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: AJ, DJGH, EJL, FJG, SIA
Located in: hesse