General information: First Jewish presence: 16th century; peak Jewish population: 121 in 1871 (3% of the total population); Jewish population in 1933: 7�
Summary: The earliest available record of a Jewish presence in Duelmen is dated 1554. Anti-Jewish riots erupted there in 1690 and 1715, and it was not until the 19th century that the Jewish population experienced significant growth. Beginning in the late 17th century, local Jews conducted services in a private prayer room; finally, in 1864, a synagogue—the building also housed a Jewish school—was inaugurated on Muensterstrasse. Duelmen was also home to two Jewish cemeteries: at Luedinghauser Tor (1761-1902) and on Kapellenweg (1905-1941). In 1933, 72 Jews lived in Duelmen; eight children studied religion. That same year, three local Jewish-owned stores were boycotted. On Pogrom Night (shortly after midnight), members of the Nazi Party smashed windows in Jewish-owned stores, vandalized Jewish homes and burned down the synagogue. Jewish men were beaten at the marketplace and arrested. In all, 40 Duelmen Jews emigrated. The remaining Jews were forcibly moved to a so-called Judenhaus (“Jews’ house”) (at 31 Coesfelder Strasse) from which, in December 1941, and in April 1942, 10 were deported to Riga and to Auschwitz. At least 20 Duelmen Jews perished in the Shoah. In 1979, a memorial stone was unveiled at the old Jewish cemetery; and in 1988, a commemorative plaque was affixed to a building opposite the former synagogue.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: EJL, FJG, HU, LJG, SIA