General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 78 in 1866; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (35 in 1935)
Summary: Glehn was home to a Judengasse (“Jews’ Alley”) as early as 1393, but it was only at the beginning of the 18th century that a continuous Jewish presence was established there. The Jewish community of Glehn was affiliated with that of Neuss. The community’s first synagogue was in use from 1716 until 1816 (perhaps later). With the help of private donations and support from the municipality, a new synagogue was erected on the corner of Schuetzendelle and Bachstrasse in 1879. Burials were conducted in Liedberg until 1861, when the struggling community was given a burial site on present-day Bendstrasse, just outside Glehn. The last burial took place there in 1935; in all, 28 tombstones have been preserved. On Pogrom Night, SA men vandalized and looted all Jewish shops and homes. After breaking down the synagogue door, the rioters destroyed the interior and stole the ritual objects. In 1939, the two main perpetrators of the violence were sentenced to 10 months in jail. Several Jewish families emigrated; others were deported to the East. At least 15 Glehn Jews perished in the Shoah. Severely damaged during an air raid in 1943, the synagogue was later (during the 1950s) converted into an apartment building for German refugees. A memorial plaque has been unveiled at 2 Schuetzendelle.
Author / Sources: Beate Grosz-Wenker