General information: First Jewish presence: mid-17th century; peak Jewish population: 104 in 1840; Jewish population in 1933: 19
Summary: From the mid-17th century until the mid-18th, the members of the small Jewish community of Borgentreich were engaged mainly in finance and in the butcher’s trade. Local Jews conducted religious services in private residences until 1753, when a small synagogue was built in Borgentreich; destroyed in the fire of 1806, the synagogue was eventually rebuilt. The community consecrated its own cemetery in the early 1880s, prior to which burials had been conducted in one of the neighboring Jewish cemeteries. It was not, however, until 1929 that the Borgentreich congregation attained independent status. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s furnishings were plundered and carted off to be burned elsewhere. The building itself was not set on fire, however, for it was located next to several other structures. Sold in the summer of 1939, the synagogue building was then used as a warehouse; and at the end of the 1950s, the structure was torn down in order to widen the street. The following is a passage from the Mayor’s report, dated November 17, 1938: “…The Jews were pitied, especially because of the damage that had been inflicted on their property, and because the Jewish men were taken to a concentration camp. This popular mood was certainly not a general phenomenon [in Germany], but I estimate that at least 60 percent of the population [of Borgentreich] felt this way.”
Author / Sources: Moshe Aumann
Sources: LJG