General information: First Jewish presence: 1808; peak Jewish population: 100 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 48
Summary: In 1816, when 29 Jews lived in the town of Dorsten, Mr. Samson Eisendrath converted one of the rooms in his home into a community prayer room. Later, in 1869, the Jews of Dorsten purchased a 70-year-old building and established a synagogue, school and community center there. It was around this time, too, that a Jewish cemetery was consecrated in Dorsten. On Pogrom Night, members of the SS and SA broke the synagogue’s windows and destroyed its interior; furniture, ritual objects and Torah scrolls were set on fire on the market place, in front of the old city hall. The few remaining Jews of Dorsten were forced to live in the synagogue building until their deportation. In August 1943, the building was destroyed during a bombing raid. A memorial was unveiled at the market place (Marktplatz) in 1983.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: EJL, SG-NRW, SIA