General information: First Jewish presence: 1622; peak Jewish population: 88 in 1843; Jewish population in 1933: 7
Summary: The earliest available record of a Jewish presence in Burgholz is dated 1622. The community established a prayer room in 1771 and, in 1807, purchased a plot of land on which it built a synagogue. This synagogue burned down in 1836 as a result of a neighborhood fire. A new synagogue was built in 1838. A modest structure, it did not feature an ornate entrance or stained glass windows. The synagogue was in use until 1936, by which point fewer than 10 Jews lived in Burgholz. On Pogrom Night, SA men broke the synagogue’s door and windows and proceeded to destroy its interior; Torah scrolls and other holy books were set on fire in the street. The synagogue building, however, remained intact, and was used as a warehouse after the war. In 1988, the city of Burgholz acquired the synagogue building and declared it an official landmark. It was restored in 1999 and now serves as a cultural center, to which a memorial plaque has been affixed.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: LJG, SG-NRW, SIA