Barsinghausen

General information: First Jewish presence: 1702; peak Jewish population: 63 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: 58
Summary: Established in 1843, the Jewish community of Barsinghausen included the Jews of Hohenbostel, Wichtringhausen und Wininghause. In 1902, after the synagogue (located in a private residence) burned down, services were moved to a rented house at 37 Marktstrasse. The Jewish elementary school, founded in the 1840s, functioned intermittently; reopened in 1892, it served the community until 1924. Local Jews maintained two cemeteries: the first, opened in the 18th century, was closed in 1909, after which, in 1910, a new one was consecrated on Kirchdorferstrasse. In 1933, a teacher/chazzan instructed six schoolchildren in religion. The old cemetery was desecrated in 1933 and in 1934. Three local Polish Jews were deported to Poland in October 1938. On Pogrom Night, rioters destroyed the synagogue’s interior and ritual objects; windows in Jewish- owned businesses were smashed, merchandise was destroyed. Seven men were sent to Buchenwald. Twenty-seven Jews emigrated, others relocated within Germany and eight died in Barsinghausen. The town’s remaining Jews were forcibly moved, together with Jews from the neighboring areas, into two designated “Jews’ Homes” from which, between December of 1940 and February of 1943, 40 were deported. In February 1945, the last four Jews—all were married to Gentiles—were deported to Theresienstadt; a local Jew (also married to a Gentile) committed suicide before the deportation. At least 18 Barsinghausen Jews and one from Hohenbostel perished in the Shoah. The synagogue building was demolished in the 1980s. Memorials were erected at the cemetery and near the town hall in 1982 and 1985, respectively.
Author / Sources: Nurit Borut; Sources: BUKSE, JLK, PK-NW
Located in: Lower Saxony