Lingen an der Ems

General information: First Jewish presence: 1693; peak Jewish population: 112 in 1895; Jewish population in 1933: 40
Summary: The synagogue community of Lingen, founded in 1869, established a synagogue on September 19, 1878. The provincial rabbinate was located in Emden. Lingen’s Jewish school was established at some point between 1875 and 1878; from 1878 to 1890, and again from 1902 onwards, the school offered religious studies only. Although the first available record of a mikveh is dated 1924 or 1925, it is likely that one existed there well before the 20th century. At the cemetery, the oldest stone is dated 1771. In 1933, the community still maintained a chevra kadisha (founded in 1880), a mixed choir and a Jewish welfare organization. Shortly after midnight on November 10, 1938 (Pogrom Night) local SA men set the synagogue on fire. Six Jewish men were arrested and deported to Buchenwald. Although two-thirds of the Jewish population emigrated in the years 1933 to 1939, only eight managed to reach safe locations; most of those who fled to Belgium or the Netherlands were caught and deported to Auschwitz or to Sobibor, where they were murdered. Of the 15 Jews who still lived in Lingen in late 1939, two immigrated to the United States; the others were deported to Riga, Theresienstadt or Auschwitz in December 1941, where all but one perished. Sold in 1940, the former synagogue plot now accommodates a residential building. A memorial plaque and a commemorative stone were unveiled on the adjacent plot in 1977 and 1986, respectively; the stone was moved to the former Jewish school on November 8, 1998. Gertrudenweg, the street on which the synagogue once stood, was renamed Synagogenstrasse, or “synagogue street.” Since 1978, the town has commemorated the Shoah with an annual ceremony. The cemetery, which was returned to the Jewish community of Lower Saxony in 1958, is now looked after for by the municipality. It was vandalized in 1958, 1972- 1973, 1975 and again in 2002.
Photo: The synagogue of Lingen in 1928. Courtesy of: Town Archive of Lingen.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: HH, PK
Located in: lower-saxony