Achim

General information: First Jewish presence: 1746; peak Jewish population: 73 in 1907; Jewish population in 1933: 37
Summary: The Jewish community of Achim was established in 1844. In 1864, a local Jew financed and built a synagogue on his land, which became community property in 1932. Achim’s Jewish cemetery was consecrated in 1865 (desecrated in 1900), and we also know that, beginning in 1843, a teacher who performed the duties of chazzan and shochet served the community. Opened in 1855, the Jewish school became a public elementary school in 1878; the school received its own building in 1907 but was closed in 1924. In 1933, a teacher/chazzan provided religious instruction to six schoolchildren. A women’s association was active in the community, to which the Jews of Ottersberg, Hemelingen and Osten were affiliated. On Pogrom Night, the synagogue’s interior was destroyed. Rioters broke windows in and plundered Jewish homes; local Jews were sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The synagogue was sold to a local merchant in 1939, and in 1944, the cemetery was confiscated and destroyed. Nine Jews emigrated, 14 relocated within Germany and one died in Achim. In November, 1941, nine Jews (one family) were deported to Minsk. A Jewish couple was deported to Theresienstadt in the summer of 1942. Two local Jews—both were married to Gentiles—survived the war in Achim. At least 30 local Jews perished in the Shoah. Achim’s cemetery was restored in 1945, and the synagogue building was demolished in the early 1950s. Memorial plaques were unveiled at the cemetery and near the synagogue site in 1985 and 1990 respectively.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: DNAKA, GLS, PK-NW, RMGA Gerrit Beermann, Kerstin Hofmann, Franziska Veit, Andreas Voß, Juedisches Leben in Achim.
Located in: Lower Saxony