General information: First Jewish presence: late 1700s; peak Jewish population: 72 in 1928; Jewish population in 1933: 28
Summary: In 1808, when the Jews of Bigge established a synagogue, they did not construct it from scratch but instead used an existing building. During its infancy, the community belonged, together with the Jewish communities of the surrounding towns, to an association of synagogues. The Jewish community of Bigge became an independent community in 1905. In 1901, the community established an elementary school—it also housed an apartment for a teacher—and a cemetery. Both synagogue and school, the latter of which was located near the house of worship, were enlarged in 1906. On Pogrom Night, although SA men arrived in Bigge with the intent to burn down the synagogue, they were prevented from doing so by neighboring residents who feared for the safety of their own homes; instead, the SA plundered the synagogue and burned its ritual objects in the courtyard. The building was razed in 1939. The old synagogue site is now part of a street. A memorial tablet, the only reminder that a house of worship once stood on the site, has been unveiled nearby.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: LJG, SG-NRW, SIA