General information: First Jewish presence: 1893; peak Jewish population: 818 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 685
Summary: It was not until 1893 that a Jewish presence was established in Hamborn (which was joined with the city of Duisburg in 1929). When, in 1899, the Jewish community numbered 51 members, attempts were made to build a synagogue. Stymied by city officials who refused to grant the necessary permits, the community decided, instead, to abandon the idea and set up a prayer room in a private residence. In 1905, local Jews were permitted to take over a vacant Evangelical church on Kaiser-Friedrich- Strasse, which they renovated and converted into a synagogue. Several years later, the community purchased a property on which they planned to build a new synagogue; forced to abandon the plan when the economy plummeted and the likelihood of war increased, local Jews decided to refurbish the synagogue on Kaiser-Friedrich-Strasse. The Orthodox members of the community built their own synagogue on Kaiser- Willhelm- Strasse. Membership there increased quickly, and the congregation was forced to rent an auditorium to accommodate those who wished to attend High Holiday services. Although the synagogue on Kaiser-Friedrich- Strasse was sold (on November 1, 1938) to a private citizen who intended to convert the building into apartments, the SS nevertheless incinerated the house of worship on Pogrom Night, undeterred by the fact that its new owner was a German citizen. A memorial plaque was unveiled at the site in 1988. We do not know what happened to the synagogue on Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: LJG, SG-NRW, SIA