General information: First Jewish presence: 1803; peak Jewish population: 58 in 1898; Jewish population in 1933: 44
Summary: The Jewish community of this small town never experienced significant growth. Gronau’s first Jewish prayer room was located in the back room of a private residence. When the community outgrew this room, it became necessary to move to another location. A new building was out of the question, for funds were scant; the alternative, then, was to purchase and renovate an existing house. In 1919, however, three wealthy Jewish families purchased a building for use as a synagogue, but it was not until early 1926 that renovations began. On August 22 of that year, the synagogue was inaugurated. The synagogue was not burned down on Pogrom Night out of concern for the neighboring homes. Instead, Nazis smashed its windows, demolished its interior and ripped the Torah scrolls to shreds. The building remained vacant until it was claimed by the city of Gronau under its re-development plan. A memorial plaque has been unveiled on the site.
Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel
Sources: EJL, LJG, SG-NRW, SIA