General information: First Jewish presence: 1675; peak Jewish population: 192 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 32
Summary: Although individual Jewish merchants settled in the area with ducal permission before the nineteenth century, it was only in the early 1800s that enough Jews lived in Adelebsen to warrant the establishment of a prayer hall (located in a private home). In 1836, the community built a synagogue with 100 seats (50 for men, 50 for women), schoolrooms and living quarters for a teacher, who also functioned as chazzan and shochet. Adelebsen Jews, initially cattle dealers and dry goods merchants, eventually branched out into other industries and trades; the town was home to a Jewish-owned weaving mill, veterinary clinic and, for a short period, a Jewish doctor. The community also maintained several Jewish organizations, e.g., a charity association (founded in 1850), a chevra kadisha (founded in 1889) and a male choir. The cemetery was vandalized in 1929. Later, in response to the anti-Jewish boycott of 1933, many Jews left Adelebsen. In the spring of 1938, two SA officers were indicted and fined, giving the remaining Jews a false sense of security, for the synagogue was destroyed on Pogrom Night (November 1938) by SS officials from Goettingen; Jewish householders were arrested and abused that night. Adelebsen’s few remaining Jews were deported in 1942. A selection of ritual objects belonging to members of the Adelebsen community is on display in the Goettingen Jewish community house.
Author / Sources: Harold Slutzkin Sources: EJL, JGNB, LJG
Located in: Lower Saxony