General information: First Jewish presence: in or around the 1648; peak Jewish population: 150 in 1871; Jewish population in 1932/33: 77
Summary: Records suggest that Jews first settled in Nieheim in 1648. Many members of the 18th-century community were traders, and we also know that the community had established a synagogue by 1780. Other communal institutions included the following: a new synagogue—it housed a schoolroom and an apartment for the teacher—at 29, Marienstrasse (1799); a cemetery on Richterstrasse (1840); and a Jewish elementary school (1890). Burials were conducted at the cemetery until 1942. Five children received religious instruction in 1933, and records also tell us that the community was able to hire a shochet that year. Although SA men destroyed the interior of the synagogue on Pogrom Night (November 1938), local residents prevented them from setting fire to the building; a Jewish home and store were damaged during the violence. Eleven local Jews emigrated from Germany in the years 1933 to 1939. Twenty-six were deported in late 1941/42. At least 72 Nieheim Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue was converted into an apartment building after the war. In November 2001, a memorial stone was unveiled in front of the building.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: EJL, FJG, HU, SG-NRW, SIA, YV