General information: First Jewish presence: late 17th century; peak Jewish presence: 204 in 1835 and 1838; Jewish population in 1933: 55
Summary: In 1749, after the authorities in Elmshorn finally granted Jews permission to conduct prayer services outside of private homes, a synagogue was inaugurated on Flamweg; a new synagogue was built on the same site in 1846. Elmshorn’s cemetery, consecrated on leased land in 1685, was purchased by the community in 1868. We also know that, in 1837, a Jewish elementary school—the community had hired teachers since 1685—was established in Elmshorn; following a government decision in 1893, however, the school limited its curriculum to religious studies. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue was burned down, a Jewish apartment was destroyed and all but two Jewish men, both of whom were sick, were sent to the Sachsenhausen camp. The synagogue site was sold to the municipality in March 1939. Several Jews moved to Elmshorn after 1933. Thirty-three Jews emigrated, 28 relocated within Germany, three were deported to the East in 1941 and one committed suicide before the deportation. The community was officially disbanded in April 1941, after which, in 1944, the cemetery became the property of the district of Pinneberg; it was later destroyed. At least four Elmshorn Jews perished in the Shoah. The synagogue ruins were cleared after the war, and a memorial was erected on the site in 1981; the destroyed cemetery has been renovated. In 2003, a new Jewish community was founded in Elmshorn.
Photo: The Ark with Torah scrolls in the synagogue of Elmshorn. Courtesy of: Leo Baeck Institute Photo Archive, 80518.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut
Sources: BEG1, BEG22, JKP, PK-NW, ZGSHG
Located in: schleswig-holstein