General information: First Jewish presence: mid-19th century; peak Jewish population: 44 in 1905; Jewish population in 1933: 26
Summary: In 1899, the 18 Jews of Breyell formed a synagogue association in cooperation with Jews from neighboring towns. Breyell’s Jewish population steadily increased (44 in 1905), in response to which the community inaugurated a new synagogue on October 21, 1910. Very little is known about this small Jewish community. An extant photograph of the synagogue, however, shows an ornate, neo-Romanesque building with many bow-shaped windows. According to a report issued in connection to the War Reparation Act of 1952, the Breyell synagogue was destroyed on Pogrom Night. Records suggest that Jakob Klaber, a cattle trader, purchased the synagogue site, after which, faced with the expense of removing the rubble, he sold the site to the Breyell municipality for 300 Reichsmarks. The War Reparation report also states that 26 local Jews (the entire Jewish population of 1933) perished in the Shoah. As of this writing, no memorial has been erected in Breyell.
Photo: Synagogue of Breyell in 1910. Courtesy of: District Archive of Viersen.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: EJL, SG-NRW, SIA