General information: First Jewish presence: 1667; peak Jewish population: 80 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 53
Summary: It was not until 1667 that the first Jew settled in Anroechte. Other Jewish families moved there in or around 1700, but the records do not reveal much about the 17th-century community. We do know, however, that Anroechte’s Jewish population figures for 1849 and 1864 were 49 and 80, respectively. Burials were conducted at the cemetery on Pohlgartenstrasse, which was consecrated at some point before 1800. We also know that the community conducted services in a prayer room on Teichstrasse, and that the building’s annex (built in the late 1850s) housed a Jewish school until 1939. In 1933, 53 Jews lived in Anroechte; seven schoolchildren received religious instruction. In the spring of 1938, SA men damaged the synagogue on three occasions. It is likely that the mayor of Anroechte, who had since 1934 striven to make his village Judenfrei (free of Jews), condoned the violence. On Pogrom Night, non-local members of the SA and SS vandalized the synagogue and set its furniture and ritual objects on fire; the Torah scrolls, however, had been removed from the building beforehand. In Anroechte, Jewish homes and shops were damaged. Twenty-six local Jews managed to emigrate. The remaining Jews were moved to a Judenhaus and subjected to forced labor. According to the records, 39 local Jews were deported to Zamość and Theresienstadt in 1942. At least 41 Anroechte Jews perished in the Shoah. Three Jewish survivors returned to Anroechte after the war. At the synagogue site, now a playground, a commemorative stone was unveiled in 1985. Another memorial was erected at the cemetery in 1988.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn; Sources: EJL, FJG, HU, LJG, SIA, YV
Located in: North Rhine-Westphalia