General information: First Jewish presence: 1687; peak Jewish population: 145 in 1836; Jewish population in 1933: 56
Summary: Built in 1815, Buende’s first synagogue was established behind an existing building, meaning that it could not be accessed from the street; instead, congregants traversed a narrow path through the yard. The synagogue building was rather small—seating became a real problem during holidays, and children often stood through services—but the community was never able to establish a larger house of worship. Buende was home to a Jewish school until 1895, and we also know that Jews were active in local politics. On Pogrom Night, with the help of the fire department, the synagogue was destroyed and the cemetery desecrated. As a result of its proximity to the Schierholz Hotel, however, the synagogue building was not set on fire. All local Jewish men were deported to Buchenwald on Pogrom Night, as were, on a later date, the women and children. The synagogue site now accommodates a parking lot. Buende’s Jewish cemetery houses a memorial plaque.
Photo: The destroyed synagogue of Buende. Courtesy of: The Tapper/Schroer Collection.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: EJL, SG-NRW, SIA