General information: First Jewish presence: 1552; peak Jewish population: 68 in 1890; Jewish population in 1933: 40
Summary: Jews were expelled from Salzuflen (Bad Salzuflen since 1914) in 1614, but a Jewish presence was reestablished there in 1647. Although the community merged with that of Schoetmar in 1858, it continued to maintain its own synagogue. Salzuflen was home to a prayer room in 1598, soon after which, in 1603, the community received permission to establish a synagogue. The first available record of a cemetery is dated 1607, years after the burial grounds were consecrated. In 1670, 23 years after Jews returned to Salzuflen, the authorities permitted the community to conduct services in private residences. By 1704, local Jews had established a synagogue on 19-20 Lange Strasse. Deemed structurally unsafe in 1855, the building was demolished, after which, in 1856, a new synagogue was inaugurated on Mauerstrasse. The cemetery was enlarged in 1855, and we also know that schoolchildren studied religion with a teacher from Schoetmar (after World War I, with one from Herford). On Pogrom Night, Bad Salzuflen’s synagogue was set on fire; the police confiscated the Torah scrolls, prayer books and ritual objects. Windows and property in three Jewish homes were smashed and destroyed, and a local Jew was sent to Buchenwald. Two days later, the synagogue’s ruins were removed, an expense for which the community was billed. The synagogue site was sold to the town in 1940/41. Several Jews moved to Bad-Salzuflen after 1933. Fifteen emigrated, 18 relocated within Germany and four died in Bad Salzuflen. In 1939, the remaining Jews were moved into two houses: two were deported to Warsaw in March 1942, and five were deported to Theresienstadt in July 1942. At least 18 Bad Salzuflen Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1980, the Obermeyer family home was converted into the “Obermeyer House” museum; at the synagogue site, now a parking lot, a plaque was unveiled in 1982, and the cemetery, which the town had sold to the Nazis, became a memorial site in 1988.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: JLL, LAV, PK-NW
Located in: north-rhine-westphalia