General information: First Jewish presence: 17th century; peak Jewish population: 116 in 1852; Jewish population in 1933: unknown (40 in 1930)
Summary: Although Jews lived in Anrath as early as the mid-17th century, it was only about a century later that an organized Jewish community began to emerge there. Most local Jews earned their livings through the cattle and retail trades. In 1804, the community replaced its 18th-century prayer room (most likely built at the end of the century) with a small synagogue, in the basement of which was a mikveh. Later, a school and living quarters for the teacher were established in the building’s annex. The Jews of Anrath built a new synagogue in 1878. We also know that the Jewish cemetery—it was located in a forest near Anrath—was consecrated before 1800. The municipality expropriated the cemetery site during the Nazi period, using many of the tombstones as building material. Although the synagogue had ceased to function as a place of worship after 1937 (or so the records suggest), its windows were smashed on Pogrom Night. In 1939/40, Polish POWs were housed there. Used as a warehouse after the war, thebuilding was later converted into a residence and was used as such until the structure was demolished in 1960. Few Jews lived in Anrath during the Nazi period as community membership had declined steadily after 1852. The Nazis deported 13 local Jews, all of whom perished.
Author / Sources: Moshe Aumann; Sources: EJL, LJG, SG-NRW